In many ways the great political rift in America comes down to a tug of war between the baby boomer generation (1945 to the late 1960s) and the millennial generation (1980 to 2000). Even though the great American civil rights movement commenced during the baby boomer generation most Americans of that era grew up in a highly segregated society. Even those progressives who favored integration had little direct personal experience with folks of other races or cultures.

Moreover, the post World War Two boom years, in economic terms, heavily favored White Americans. Then as America’s industrial might began to fade so too did the demographic makeup of the country begin to shift. Thus Whites conditioned to White privilege began to grow resentful to see the rise in status of other races and cultures in “their” country.

While baby boomers were becoming uneasy with a radically shifting culture, the millennials were growing up immersed in a rapidly changing America. Their friends were of various racial and sexual combinations. A multicultural world was everyday stuff to them.

Thus as baby boomers were fearfully falling back upon primitive impulses of tribalism, millennials were charging full steam ahead into the new world order. They joined with other races to help elect Barack Obama President of the United States. For many baby boomers this was the last straw. Encouraged by the Republican establishment and opportunistic right-wing radio and TV, disgruntled Whites coalesced within and became the base of the Republican Party, which the ruthless Donald John Trump quickly usurped as his own.

The question before America is this current backlash against the future fatal to American democracy and human survival or will the millennials successfully counter attack the current outbreak of bigotry and hatred that has grabbed the reins of government power?

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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