by Pilgrim's Pride | September 23rd, 2012
TOWARD A PRACTICAL DEFINITION OF THE BABY BOOMERS
When the term was coined by the marketers of Madison Avenue, it referred to the children of the WWII generation, meaning specifically those who “came of age” during the war, i.e., 16 – 22 year olds who were drafted, not older men who were already established.
Their first children were born shortly after coming home, obviously, but a 25 year old vet might have a 20 year old wife who could bear children into her 40s, i.e., 1965.
I myself was born in 1964 but my parents had nothing to do with WWII. Indeed, my mother was a “war baby” – her father was recalled to active duty in the USN (thus my birthplace literally in US Naval Hospital Philadelphia) … and my father was born in the Great Depression in 1936. His father, a coal miner, was exempt from the draft as a critical industry worker and also because he was at the upper end of draft age limit.
The other important thing to know about the Boomers is the implicit importance of WWII propaganda in their lives. Their parents, the so-called “Greatest Generation” (self-applied…) were immersed in anti-Nazi, pro-Soviet propaganda. They literally define themselves that way.
Their children were born into this sea of propaganda and never left it.
The older WWII vets, like my grandfather and his wife, already had fully formed opinions etc and were not so affected by the agitprop.
Now you know why Boomers see every bad actor as a Nazi and why they are so favorable to Communism. Herr Hitler was the bête noir and Uncle Joe was well, Uncle Joe the Good Ally.
It helps that the Huddled Masses were effectively “sanctified” and “baptized” into their Americaness thanks to the war. How many Hollywood propaganda films featured a company of soldiers named Romano, Kowalski, Schmidt, Esteban, and O’Leary? Fighting that war validated their winning USA Lotto tickets responsible for bringing their fathers here a few short years earlier.
Because the Boomers as a cultural phenomenon are a construct of young WWII vets’ impressions of geopolitics and subsequent entitlement mentality, NOT ALL PERSONS BORN DURING THAT PERIOD SHARE THEIR WORLDVIEW. This is a generalization based on demographics and psycho-social factors that are not universal, merely widespread and a majority.