Old people are not the enemy
“Don’t trust anyone over thirty” was one of the dumbest slogans in American politics.
I’ve seen a lot of optimism about the growth of non-religious people, the spectacular boom in gay rights over the last two decades, and the increasing skepticism in national leaders towards drug prohibition. But the fading of sixties-era generational antagonism on the left is just as heartening. As John Quiggin points out, generational analysis doesn’t really hold up, and it can only hurt us.
One of the coolest things about the Occupy movement was how age didn’t seem to matter. Unemployed parents and their unemployed children showed up. The leadership of Occupy Orlando seemed to be a coalition of fifty-year-old activists and college-age folks. And that makes sense, because the privatizers don’t care if you’re young or old, they’re gutting your benefits regardless.
It’s true that older people are more likely to be overtly racist, sexist and anti-gay. But the logical solution is to bash bigots, instead of letting young assholes off the hook and leaving these folks in the crossfire.