With the Jerry Sandusky drama came a heavy analysis of the state of the nation as handled by its power players and respected leaders-namely members of our parent’s generation. To the young accusers, it is these baby boomers who have wreaked havoc on the seemingly wholesome, prosperous country their parents (our grandparents) helped to establish. These accusers are unjustified in where they place their blame because they are blinded by their imaginations of a purer, simpler time. The reality is, this is a farcical myth that every generation creates to appeal to a wider, generational nostalgia hoping for something better than what their future promises.
When our parents were kids and their parents held most of the leadership positions, the nation’s problems included such huge issues as the Vietnam War, equality issues and, yes, economic woes. There were Jerry Sanduskys and religious officials abusing their power and taking advantage of innocents. There were Ponzi schemes, a seriously slanted scale of rich to poor and a distrust of federal monetary agencies such as the Federal Reserve. Every major problem we have today existed in some form at some level in the glorified times of the past.
To blame our parents’ generation for messing the country up is an exercise in gross hyperbole. Our country is in poor shape now because too many generations are sitting around pointing fingers at each other, blaming the older or the younger folks for bad policies, bad ethics and bad judgments.
We can complain all we want about the state of the union in the here and now but chances are our generation is going to lead it down a few more wrong paths. We live in a powerful, rich, populous country with a multitude of issues that are held alongside the pledge of allegiance in the hearts of many Americans. As such, it is impossible to avoid a country without problems, much as we may take pride in it.
Instead of blaming our parents’ generation for a declining state of affairs, we should be stepping up and trying to fix things. And we should understand that in trying to fix things, we might screw up even more.
Allana Wooley is a freshman anthropology and history double major from Marble Falls.