There are really at least two boomer generations. The early boomers got pushed into going to college because they didn’t want to die in Vietnam. The later boomers couldn’t get jobs without going to college because, by that time, it took a college diploma to get pretty much any job that wasn’t sweat labor. The cars people my age had "right out of high school?" Usually those were older cars passed down from their parents. And buying houses? Ha! Not with double-digit interest rates on mortgages.
I was 22 during the 1980 election. Of people who were 22-29 (i.e. late boomers), 44% voted for Reagan, with another 44% for Carter, and 11% (which included me) for John Anderson. (The 18-21 year olds, who are arguably Gen X-ers, have similar figures, by the way.) And, by the way, much of the focus of the election was on Carter’s foreign policy failures, e.g. the Iran hostage crisis, though the economy (with high unemployment and runaway inflation) was also an issue.
Sorry, millennials, but you need to be blaming your grandparents, not your parents.
Jewish Nationhood: A number of people are up in arms about Trump’s Executive Order that allows Jews to be considered as a nation and not only a religion. While I am: 1) no fan of His Orangeness and 2) sure that most of the people who have been commenting on how terrible that order is mean well, I think the critics have gotten this wrong.
First of all, what the order actually says is that federal agencies should apply Title VI to anti-Semitism. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is slightly strange in that, unlike other parts of that law, it prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. That is, it does not explicitly bar discrimination on the basis of religion (or, for that matter, sex. At the time the law was being debated, Senator Joseph Clark of Pennsylvania said that it applied to anti-Semitism on the grounds that anti-Semitic acts discriminate against Jews under a broad definition of national origin. His point was that, Jews can be discriminated against even if they are practicing some other religion.
The concern is, of course, that defining Jews as a nationality plays into the trope of dual loyalties. The problem with that is that mainstream Jewish thought considers Jews to be both a religion and a nation. Jewish liturgy is full of references to the Jewish nation, with admonitions to be a light unto other nations and such. Also, the accusation of dual loyalty has been applied to other religious groups, too. It’s why there was anti-Catholic sentiment directed against JFK, to give an obvious example.
Really what disappoints me the most is that there are some Jews who fall for Trump’s faked concern and ignore his adoption of actual anti-Semitic tropes. But that’s a whole other subject.
Other Political Rants: Nah. My blood pressure was quite good at my doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, so let’s not screw that up. I will note that I got the second shot of the shingles vaccine and my arm is still sore two days later.
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