I sure can't wait to see the Thom Hartmann generation go. He and the rest of the Baby Boomers ruined the culture of this country, threw away the untold riches bequeathed to them, betrayed and undermined centuries of wisdom, spread the use of drugs, legitimized divorce and abortion, and even managed to screw up the civil rights movement that might otherwise have been their signal achievement. On the other hand, they did give us pre-faded jeans, so I guess that’s something.
All this misery they heaped on America and the west while retaining a sense of arrogant self-satisfaction and self-justification that, were it not for our knowledge of sinful human nature, would defy understanding. The defining characterisitic of the Boomer is that they lacked "Willpower", They pursued the "if it feels good do it" sentiment that swept out from the hills of Woodstock and into the collective American physche. Unfortunately willpower surpasses even intelligence as a predictor of success in life. Behaving well, behaving responsibly, learning the norms of politeness and refusing to abandon them without good reason tend to make you a more self-controlled, successful, and finally a better person.
This is precisely the wisdom the Boomer generation threw away. Their promiscuity, adolescent foul-mouthedness, bad manners, and disregard for tradition — all of which they claimed were a new kind of freedom — were in fact the precursors to the very oldest kind of slavery: slavery to one’s own impulses and desires. This slavery, packaged in the Sixties as “identity” or “culture” or “the right to be yourself,” ultimately leads to enslavement by others as it makes you indolent and irresponsible and in need of protection and restraint by the powers that be. A poor black man’s journey from hip hop culture to prison is a perfect example. So is a middle class white man’s journey from moral license and unwarranted praise to his sniveling need for an all-providing — oh, and by the way, all-powerful — state.
A government that wants more power knows well it can acquire that power by stripping the citizenry of every need and opportunity to provide for and take control of themselves — every reason to exercise their will. Welfare, unending unemployment benefits, “free” health care, business bailouts, the “right” to live off your parents’ insurance until you’re 47 or whatever: these, not religion, are the true opiate of the people.
Thoms generation, using the loftiest possible language, destroyed the loftiest possible image of man — his image as God-made creature endowed with the right to be left alone. Instead, they declared him a weak collection of needs with some mysterious right to have those needs paid for by other people’s earnings. They told us government had to provide the citizen’s material needs even if it hampered his ability to live free.
Instead they should have asked: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, if he forfeits his own soul?”
Thom thinks things started going bad in the 80's because he desperately wants to pin things on Reagan and Republicans. His Ego can't even look at the 70's and the true cause of Western society's decline. He and his peers.