Boomers vs. Millennials

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April 2, 2017 6:08 PM

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As a member of the baby boom generation, I must come to a sad conclusion – the boomers have largely made a mess of things.  I can only hope the millennials will do a better job.

We boomers grew up during the 1950s and 1960s.  We did accomplish some things, but on balance, we have provided America and Indiana with badly split politics and governmental inertia.

There is some debate about how to define millennials, but the most common definition I can find among expert demographers is that the generation includes those born between 1982 and 2002.

There is hope the millennial generation has a different view of how to solve problems, and that good news came recently from the Indiana Statehouse.  State lawmakers of the millennial generation have formed the Indiana Future Caucus.

The group has been formed by Republican Dave Ober of Albion and Democrat Dan Forestal from Indianapolis.  Their stated goals are to break political gridlock through cooperation and consider the changing attitudes of a new, younger generation.  They number 14 members of the General Assembly.

In my days of covering politicians of the boomer generation, most were good at pushing their own ideologies and positions, but some lacked the ability to make the important compromises required for a democratic republic to function properly.  Based on what I am seeing from this bipartisan group of millennial Indiana legislators, they are seeking the common ground that has eluded many of my fellow boomers.

When I was young, there were many pieces of advice handed down to the boomer generation.  We were told by our elders to make America and Indiana a better place to live.  We have succeeded in some areas and failed in many others.

As a baby boomer myself, it is good to see millennials aiming for consensus.  The members of the Indiana Future Caucus are made up of an even number of Democrats and Republicans that clearly have political beliefs and will express those views.  At the same time, they will listen to the other side and find ways to work together.

The torch will soon be passed to the millennial generation.  What I have seen so far gives me confidence they are up to the job.

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