Saw Ol’Bygone speaking yesterday with his supporters behind him holding up “Safer America” signs. His supporters would rather be safe than great! That sounds Un-American, don’t it?
Welp, my daughter (age 27) opened my rheumy, heavy-lidded old eyes yesterday. She pointed out that on one hand, the parents of millennials taught them to be very afraid. Stranger-danger! ( she admitted that I didn’t hit that too hard, but it was in the air) . They weren’t allowed to have sliding boards, jungle gyms, whirligigs. (Again, she attended a Montessori school which DID have all that ancient playground equipment, be it noted, but this is true in general.) And then, they had a lot of scary stuff to deal with: 9/11, 2008…
Well, sheeee-uh, cry me a river. We had the Cold War, air raid drills, the Cuban Missile Crisis —and I remember the worst thing about that was that we could see how scared all the grownups were. Everybody was in mortal terror.
But maybe the difference is that had a definite end : The Soviets backed down! Kennedy won!—although we weren’t told then the concessions he had made, it was over, we faced ‘em and they blinked!
9/11 didn’t have such a satisfying conclusion. We couldn’t find and kill Bin Laden till what, a decade later? Everything changed and it stayed that way.
And 2008? She was 11 that year, and yuh we were scared, our wealth melting away! No of course we didn’t discuss it with her , nor was she deprived of anything , but she probably did sense our anxiety. Again, there was no satisfying reversal, life gradually seeped back into the economy, the markets.
So, it’s not we seniors who want “safety”— WE want victory, like we experienced in our own lifetimes. We had a great run. We wanna win!
But ….maybe Ol’Bygone’s “Safer America” slogan has more appeal to the Millennials. Maybe “nothing ventured, nothing gained “ resonates far less with them that “nothing ventured, nothing lost.”