The Greatest Generation had their own pandemic in 1918. In a 2-year period 675,000 people died of the H1N1 Flu.
A little over a decade later, this generation got hit again. This time it was a Wall Street and economic collapse that led to the Great Depression.
The suffering from the pandemic and economic nightmare beginning 11 years later turned out to be a prelude to involvement in a world war. That challenge became a fight on 2 fronts: across the Atlantic and across the Pacific oceans and a loss of another 405,000 men and women.
Their sacrificed created the most powerful nation in the world with an economy, military and moral leadership second to none. This leadership, used mostly for the greater good of humanity, produced a world community looking to copy the American democratic model for its own development.
Because of their own experience of want and sacrifice, the Greatest Generation committed themselves to the notion that their children would do a lot better and hopefully, set in motion that same concept for future generations. The first and most important recipients of that blessing is what we called today the Boomers.
That generation had the luxury of being better off than their parents. As such, they chose to experiment in a number of social, political and moral directions that profoundly changed the fabric of the country.
Boomers youth led a sexual revolution and anti-establishment movements that threatened the very unity of the country. Woodstock and Anti-Vietnam War movement became the expression of new values pressed by youth on their parents.
Ronald Reagan and the collapse of the Soviet Union created a major change in the outlook for the Boomer community. Being middle-age had created a certain desire to conserve the notion of being the sole great power in the world.
Boomers also became aware that they were becoming less and less the center of gravity in an increasing multicultural society. So the race was on to hold on to the power that their parents had bestowed on them.
The politics of the “Tyrant Holdfast” gradually became a call to arms of an aging generation. Donald Trump, himself a Boomer, became the recipient of that mantle and its sponsors.
All seem to be going well until the Trump administration caused the Coronavirus pandemic to become a contest between medical or economic survival. In creating this false choice and then selecting the economy over medical protection, President Trump has begun to lose the support of many in the Boomer community.
It so happens that the pandemic is most severe on the elderly and that is the Boomers. In the eyes of many in this community, the President whom they have supported, has thrown them under the bus.
That sets up a very serious situation especially when it is happening to a generation that has commanded the attention of the country for so long. Surviving the epidemic has been a primary goal of the Boomer and that goal is now in question because the President is more interested in his reelection.
Although the Boomer community is no longer the majority in the country, its hold on political power is indisputable. It can use that power to force the administration to rethink the focus away from medical science.
However, circumstance may dictate a major disappointment in the medical fortunes of the Boomer. Trump has a history of thinking first about his future, and in his mind, that future lies in opening the economy before anything else.