Reaching the Age of The 50’s Plus Decade

Author’s Note: This is the second article of four; all dealing with the subject of reaching certain ages in your life.

Here is a thought, supposed you turned fifty to sixty years old during one of the last few months. As a concerned citizen, you watched the Republicans Convention held in Cleveland, followed by the Democrats assembled in Philadelphia.

You are from the Baby Boomer Generation or born between 1945 and 1964. You have heard so much about how bad off things are in this country; you’ve almost gotten depressed. You are somewhat successful and may have a house with a two car garage and the white picket fence. At least you’ve seen, if not enjoyed the prosperity of middle class all your life.  You are wise enough to recognize these economic times are a challenge, but to see the world through the eyes of Donald Trump? That’s a stretch. You just don’t think that American living conditions are that bad. That is because you are an eternal optimist about yours and the nation’s fortunes.

You were born to an age where we saw the emergence of flower power and free love.  We enjoyed the art of protesting those laws we were against and won major reforms during the Civil Rights Era. They say that Baby Boomer consumers spent every dollar they earned sooner or later. There is no doubt we do like our toys. We love the shiny cars, electronic apparatus, good wine, song and so on.

It’s a trip to see a red faced guy huffing and puffing as if to blow a house down while he is trying to make a point. The man looks like a swollen character of himself, calling out this one and that one while using unflattering nicknames. All to further degenerate the subject’s personality or reputation.  All because some person talked about the Donald or disagreed with his analysis of the current American economy.

To most baby boomers the guy is crazy, dangerous, and a mad lunatic that if elected, will have his hands on the nuclear buttons. He is Barry Goldwater, the hawkish tricky Dick Nixon reincarnated. How did he get in this position? Certainly, the country can’t be serious about electing this guy, can they? In short yes they can.

Over the last decade or so, we have seen the rise of in your face debates about minor or major disagreements.  There is the stare down of opposing groups, sometimes resulting in a spark that leads to confrontation. How about road rage, resulting in the supposedly aggrieved individual reaching into the surprised motorist SUV?  He snatched her dog and then threw the squalling animal into the Freeway traffic.

Every day the media (TV or print) provides more and more insane stories and examples where people are doing crazy if not inflicting bodily harm against one another. When we hear the reasons, it almost makes us sick to think of how or wonder how some of us have become so short tempered.  Face it; our US Citizens Society has become a society that is more ill-mannered, less compassionate, and overall downright annoyed with anyone who gets in their way. We are living in a f_ _ k you kind of a world. The minority’s bad behavior has become the norm and almost accepted as this is the way it is today.

We see it on our TV shows, regardless of the type of programming. It’s depicted in the movies; our kids are acting out in school.  Preachers remind us to be kind to one another as we maneuver out of the church parking lot. And now we are surprised to see or hear that type of behavior from a presidential candidate?

All’s not lost, and still, the majority is hanging on to acceptable manners and behavior. A different opinion highlighted the Democratic response to the RNC Cleveland spectacle. They had a great convention, which looked (all colors and creed) and sounded like America. They spoke of who we are not who we are projected to be. There were demonstrations, shout-outs, and people in that hall that tried to get their points across by actions and deeds. They were normally shouted down by the majority.

So what does this all mean for the general election? Or what do you, my baby boomer partners do about all this in-your-face rhetoric and rude people? Those are great questions.

For starters, let’s show them how to act by leading the way. After all, it is what we do, or as prognosticators, authors, and astrologist have put it. We talk the talk and walk the walk. We are not the kind of people who let life roll over us without trying to get out of the way. If anything, our aim is to control life, short of stepping into God’s shoes. Remember the Quincy Jones produced a song with Michael Jackson and countless other recording stars. “We are the World,” even though we are modest at times.

I got into an exhausting debate with my brother-in-law during our July vacation in Milwaukee. It seems he, being from Generation X (born during 1961-1981) think his generation is responsible for all the current economic milestones. His theory is that Gen X’s recognized as the greatest Generation. Because mind you, everything happens afterward was because of their efforts, inventions, and lifestyle. My retort to that was Gen X…please.

Although, there are numerous processes which credit Gen X as bringing to the economic table. It is the Baby Boomers that developed, selected and set the menu, if you get my drift.  Even at that, I can’t say who the greatest generation is because the world’s lifespan has not played itself out. And for that matter, we all hope it never does as that would mean the end of humanity as we know it. From this description, I would imagine you can tell how the conversation became deep and loud, lol.

My hope is that we as a society have not sunk so low that people like the Donald are normal behavior for now and into the future. Let’s all step back a bit and look inward to tap into our generational personalities. We can begin by voting against Trump and his party who seems to want to win at any and all cost. Their theory is to forget what is good for the Country.  Their aim is to allow the wealthy, far-right-winged conservatives, and just as far to the right evangelicals to chart our destiny. That is not a Baby Boomers kind of Party. Is it yours?

As initially stated, this is the second in a four-part series of personal examinations at the subject decade milestones in our lives. We welcome comments on your thoughts as write about each topic point. We can all learn from others experiences as well as our own.

Next up: Sixty, the new Forty or Fifty?

Ending with: Seventies, are you Done? 

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

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“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Don’t Drink the GOP’s Brand of Government Kool-Aid

Every time there is a natural disaster who do we call for help? What about if some terrorist drop a bomb in New York City, other US land, or US presence via ship or whatever anywhere in the world? What happens if you need to regulate an industry from taking advantage of the common man and woman in the US Street? The point is that we look to our United States Government to solve those problems.

No one calls up Donald Trump, The Koch Brothers, Russ Limbaugh, or California’s Silicon Valley tech billionaires. In those instances, the only entity that can take on, address or solve those issues. And that is the United States Government. By the way, that is the same organization that wrote the rules of commerce those billionaires used to become wealthy.

As we enter this political election sphere leading up to the nomination and eventual election of a new president and members of Congress, we are confronted with the same concoction. I call it The GOP’s brand of Government Kool-Aid. You will probably recognize parts of the formula. The indigents are as follows,

Start with the base flavoring, one small package of ultra-conservative Sugar Substitute.

Add two tablespoons each of Super PAC Cash, Various Right-Wing Media, Erroneous Polls, Right-Wing Christians, Tea Party Rhetoric and Fox News. Make sure they are all lemon-lime flavored to give it that tangy taste.

Slice up a Secession Orange, only found in states like Texas, etc. to give it that States Rights wholesome flavoring.

Kool Aid - CopyPour in two gallons of plain water, top it off with a few ice cubes to make it a cool drink and serve at Media parties, election campaign offices, and to attendees at all political gatherings.

There should be a warning on the packaging of this concoction, but there isn’t. The warning would state; Beware of drinking this type Kool-Aid as it will destroy your compassion toward your neighbor, fellow US & world citizens and lead you to vote against your best interest.

Whatever speech uttered by one of their candidates always includes the two mantras of the Republican Party political platform, Govt. should not be in any private business affairs and States Rights overrule the US Govt. Rights. It’s a concoction they serve that works well all the time. A word of caution, avoid mixing any socialist ingredients otherwise you will ruin the batch.

I am saying this because in a little over fourteen months we are going to select another President, Vice President, members of the House of Representative, and Senators. Who we choose will have a definite impact on our country’s priorities. Will it be more governmental involvement where it should have oversight or no government involvement at all except to protect corporate interest? Will our president be a man or woman of the people or a corporate puppet? It’s just that simple.

Here is one very, very important note that you must remember. Whichever party is the majority in the House of Representatives and Senate runs that congressional body. That means they will run the agenda that their members vote on or bring up for a vote.

And the final piece of this important political process reviews to remember. The next president will have his pick of who will be the head of government agencies, i.e. The IRS, Social Security Department, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), etc. Those agencies act as the watchdog to protect you, the average citizen in the street. The question, which candidate do you think will serve your needs, or which one will serve corporate needs? Those are the issues in the next election.

And let’s not forget, in the case of a vacancy the president will make a recommendation as to who will sit on the Supreme Court. A reminder should be the 5-4 split on most decisions now favors the Republican Party. A show of hands…or think about it, who do you think the Republican Party represent? Don’t say what you heard on Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC. Who do you really think the Republican Party represent, given the actions they have taken in the House of Representatives over the last few years? How about the present Senate? Do you think they care about Black Lives Matter, Climate Control, Minimum Wage, Women’s or Equal Rights, or the Voting Rights Act? Look at what they have done, not what you hear on the news or your buddy tells you. How many of their sons and daughters have served in the military or fought in a war? They’ve had one theme going on over the last six years, Damn President Obama, the Antichrist and repeal Obama Care. Of which they have spent a lot of money telling you it’s a stupid law. They have no plan to replace it. And immigration, should I go on? Now do you see why I am asking you not to drink their brand of Government Kool-Aid?

For added measure, I am going to solicit help in articulating the following,

**RESPONSIBILITIES OF CITIZENSHIP

Citizens of the United States, it is clear, have a great many rights that give them freedoms all peoples hold dear: the freedom to think what they like; to voice those opinions, individually to their elected representatives or collectively in small or large assemblies; to worship as they choose or not to worship at all; to be safe from unreasonable searches of their persons, their homes, or their private papers. However, the theory of democratic government holds that along with these rights come responsibilities: to obey the laws; to pay legally imposed taxes; to serve on juries when called to do so; to be informed about issues and candidates; and to exercise the right to vote that has been won for so many through the toil and tears of their predecessors.

The responsibility that can make the most lasting difference, however, is getting involved in the political process. “Proponents of participatory democracy argue that increased citizen participation in community and workplace decision-making is important if people are to recognize their roles and responsibilities as citizens within the larger community,” says Craig Rimmerman, professor of political science, in his book The New Citizenship: Unconventional Politics, Activism, and Service. “Community meetings, for example, afford citizens knowledge regarding other citizens’ needs. In a true participatory setting, citizens do not merely act as autonomous individuals pursuing their own interests, but instead, through a process of decision, debate, and compromise, they ultimately link their concerns with the needs of the community.”

Tom Harkin, U.S. Senator from Iowa, says that the kind of activists who fueled the earlier civil rights, anti-Vietnam War, and environmental movements are now focusing their energies “closer to home, organizing their neighbors to fight for such issues as better housing, fair taxation, lower utility rates, and the cleanup of toxic wastes…. Cutting across racial and class and geographical boundaries, these actions have shown millions of people that their common interests far outweigh their differences. [For all of them], the message of citizen action is the same: ‘Don’t get mad, don’t get frustrated, don’t give up. Organize and fight back.”

         **VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES

Some concerned American voters have chosen to stay involved by being in touch with their elected officials, in particular, the president and their senators and representatives. They have written letters, sent telegrams, made telephone calls, and gone in person to the official’s office, whether in Washington or in the home state or district. During the past few years, however, a new medium of communication has burst upon the scene and given voters extraordinary power — the power to learn what is going on in their world, to comment on those events, and to work to change the things they don’t like. This medium is the Internet, the World Wide Web, the Information Superhighway. Whatever it is called, it is changing politics in America, rapidly and irrevocably.

** Source: U.S. Department of State, entitled ‘Government of the People: The Role of the Citizen.’

So the next time, you are having a debate with your family, neighbor, or friends, realize who is responsible for the individuals that represent us in Washington today. Indirectly, we are the Government. They represent us, so it is up to us to determine if this is the type of Government we want.

I am not advocating overthrowing the US Government. In fact just the opposite; I am saying more of us need to get involved with Government. Voting, Community organizing with the help of the Internet, demonstrating, letter writing, and phone calls to our personal and other US districts representatives always lead to action by the same. No matter what you might hear from uninformed or self-promoting political analyst, these tactics do work. It is the number of people that are advocating a particular idea that implement change for the better and all involved.

For the record, I’m not a fan of people storming the stage of an event, interrupting the speaker and shouting “What are you doing about our people getting shot by the various policemen around the country.” Yes, they should be confronted wherever feasible but not at a major speaking engagement. All you are doing is giving the other side ammunition to say…”I told you those people are crazy and violent.” Let’s be smart and efficient about our protest. And yes target Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. We need to hear more than a thirty second TV ad. And by all means, once they are elected, hold them accountable for their promises. We should press for fair-minded actions, not political party-speak that favors who donated to their campaign. The Constitution begins by stating “We the People, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, Insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, etc. etc.” You think they were trying to tell us something, give us a hint on how we as a society should behave?

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment