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THE COLUMN: Bust Go the Boomers
Michael Walsh • 24 Apr, 2023 • 5 Min Read
So there we were at Woodstock... or was it Nam?
When the first wave of Baby Boomers reported for kindergarten duty in the early/mid 1950s, they got a shock that has lasted throughout their – our – lives. Waiting for them were tens, dozens, scores of other kids in their classrooms, each one ready to eat your lunch. Welcome to the politics of scarcity, kids.
American families tended to be large in those days (women had not yet fully entered the workforce, and so could attend to their primary duty of birthing and raising the next generation), but the sheer numbers of the cohort was still a shock. In the ensuing years, the Boomers gradually realized they would be competing against each other for the rest of their lives for advancement, prestige, power, sex, and money. If they had to claw their way to the top and fend off all who would try to take their throne as King of the Generations, so be it.
Then they came of age during the revolutionary Sixties. They chose up sides. Woodstock hippies vs. the Ohio National Guard at Kent State were the shots heard 'round the world. Mutual loathing burgeoned and increased. Politically, the nation split in half: Nixon over McGovern; Carter over Ford, Reagan/Bush over Carter and Mondale; Clinton over Bush and Dole; Bush Jr. over Gore and Kerry; Obama over McCain and Romney; Trump over Clinton; Biden (!) over Trump. The dreary litany of the Zeitgeist continues apace, and yet here we remain, in Zugswang forever.
Some years back, writing as my deracinated lefty character "David Kahane" in the pages of National Review Online, I coined the phrase "the Cold Civil War" (often incorrectly attributed to my friend, the late Angelo Codevilla, but he got it from me). My thesis:
Despite all the evidence of the past several decades, you still have not grasped one simple fact: that, just about a century after the last one ended, we engaged in a great civil war, one that will determine the kind of country we and our descendants shall henceforth live in for at least the next hundred years — and, one hopes, a thousand. Since there hasn’t been any shooting, so far, some call the struggle we are now involved in the “culture wars,” but I have another, better name for it: the Cold Civil War
Your side admired strength, resolve. and purposefulness; we were stuck with weakness and indecision. You saw the world as something to be conquered; we saw the world as a hostile force needing to be appeased. You dealt with life head-on, never complaining and never explaining; we ran home and told our mommies. Think of us as Cain to your Abel, hating you from practically the moment we were born, hating you for your excellence and your unabashed pursuit thereof while we were the ugly stepchildren. Well, Cinderfella — how do you like us now?
Today, we are cock of the walk, king of the world, all our vices are made virtues, and all us sinners, saints. While you were out trying to make your way in the world, earning a living, being responsible, raising a family, paying your taxes, we infiltrated your every institution: the schools, the law, Hollywood, the culture, the government. We learned to train your own weapons upon you and, while you weren’t looking, we shot you in the back with them.
That was an excerpt from my book, Rules for Radical Conservatives, published in 2010. How right was I? Don't bother answering, because the evidence is all around us. From the safe and secure world of the Boomers' childhoods (until the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, nobody ever really believed the Rooskies would drop the Bomb on us) to the present mishegoss of open borders, "identification," black urban lawlessness, violent white storm troopers calling themselves "Antifa," a weaponized FBI, IRS, and Justice Department all in service to the Democrat Party and its senile, resentful president, an intelligence community now openly boasting about they can affect domestic political politics by planting disinformation, men competing in drag in women's sports, and tranny chic, the norms of post-war America have been shattered beyond repair, and we have to live in the resultant mess.
And so it came to pass that Woodstock has been transmogrified into Altamont; the Beatles have passed but their satanic majesties the Rolling Stones are still with us.
Having put down the Democrat-led rebellion of 1861-1865 (which began when Democrats refused to accept the results of the 1860 election), the former United States are once again on the brink of dissolution, its citizens slowly but surely separating themselves into enclaves, making ever clearer the likelihood that the nation that (according to Leftist mythology) began as a "proposition" – in fact, it began as an outpost of the European Enlightenment, and once that tribe disappeared so also did most of its founding principles – will revert to a Balkanized collection of non-Western ethnic groups and their squabbling discontents. Absent a strong sense of national purpose and the shared inheritance of Greco-Roman culture, things fall apart, the center cannot hold, and into the ash heap of history we go.
The signs are all around: the fading of the dollar as the world's safe-harbor currency; the decline of the American military into a combination of meals on wheels and a social experiment in leaderlessness; the complete lack of trust in the electoral system (how can there be any when one side, the Democrats, is adamantly against any secure measures regarding voting?); and the utter disbelief in the most fundamental tenets of biological science while at the same time celebrating the Covid fascism of Faucism? As the saying goes, what cannot go on won't go on.
This morning, conservatives were stunned by the news that Tucker Carlson, 53, the highest-rated host on the network and the most popular media figure on television, was abruptly terminated in the wake of Fox's hefty financial settlement with Dominion Voting Services over allegations prominently pushed by Donald Trump supporters, including some at the network. The triggerman was most likely the nonagenerian Rupert Murdoch, an increasingly erratic media mogul who recently called off what would have been his fifth marriage. Other prominent media figures have been defenestrated recently as well, including Dan Bongino and CNN's Don Lemon. Forget Bud Light: now even the media (still dominated behind the scenes by the ancient gentry) is cracking up.
Meanwhile, wars and rumors of wars. The U.S. is fighting Russia in a disgraceful proxy war over the Ukraine's ahistorical pretensions to nationhood. Meanwhile, militarily inept China, the gold standard of a country that's never won a war against a Western power, is making noises about the South China Sea and eyeing Taiwan, the last bastion of Chiang's losers in the most recent Chinese civil war. No one except perhaps senator minority leader Turtle McChao, 81, will care if an when China invades with a good chance of winning. As history shows, the only people the Chinese can beat in an armed conflict is themselves.
And so the elderly Boomers and gerontocrats find themselves at the end of the road with no place to go. Facing the hideous prospect of a Biden-Trump rematch next year, when Biden will be 82 and Trump 78, the Boomers have finally got their wish to stay on top of American society, locked in mortal combat with each other like Holmes and Moriarty going over the Reichenbach Falls. Another analogy might be Sammy Glick in Budd Schulberg's great novel What Makes Sammy Run?, conniving and hustling his gonoph rear end to the top of Hollywood, only to find himself condemned to a living hell from which the only escape is death.
It was never in our nature to go quietly. We arrived in those freshly built schools kicking and screaming, went muling and puking and toking through high school and college, dodged the draft as best we could, got laid as often as possible, stayed in graduate school until they kicked us out, infiltrated every organization on earth, found a comfortable, undemanding safe spot in the bosom of governments, where we found we could indulge our taste for the torture of other at no expense to ourselves, and then went about whole-heartedly tearing down every institution, just because we could.
Sure, we're on our way out. But just ask Biden, Trump, McConnell, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Grassley, Jim Clyburn, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Maxine Waters, and all the other superannuated public officials — too old even to be Boomers but dearly supported by them! From our cold dead hands, baby, and if we have to take you all with us, nothing could make us happier. After us, the deluge. It's the least we could do for you, America.
Michael Walsh is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. He was for 16 years the music critic and a foreign correspondent for Time Magazine. His works include the novels As Time Goes By, And All the Saints, and the bestselling “Devlin” series of NSA thrillers; as well as the nonfiction bestseller, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace and its sequel, The Fiery Angel. Last Stands, a study of military history from the Greeks to the present, was published by St. Martin's Press in December 2019. He is also the editor of Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, published on Oct. 18, 2022. Follow him on Twitter: @theAmanuensis