I was standing at an intersection in Metro West with fellow Democrats this weekend, sign holding for a visibility in support of our candidate for the House of Representatives this weekend, when the subject of Don Berwick’s campaign came up. The odd thing is that we were all in support of Don Berwick, but each of us thought that the rest of us were in support of one of the other candidates. One by one, we discovered that we were all supporting Don Berwick. Imagine that.
Then something very telling came up about us. We were all children of the 60’s. To the people passing by, we were just older folks, gray hair, holding signs for our candidate. In our hearts, we remained the same as we were back then when we protested the Vietnam War, participated in Earth Day, supported a woman’s right to choose and fought for social justice. Then somewhere in the 1980’s we stopped, not all of us, just many of us, myself included.
When I speak with of Gen-X’ers and Millennials, I hear them say that my generation, the Baby Boomers, screwed up, and they’re right, we did. Yes, we did a lot of good things, and then we stopped. We let the big banks take control. We allowed corporations to send our good jobs overseas. We stood by and watched as our employers got to decide what health care we could and could no longer receive. We allowed faceless corporations full financial access to our elections. We got distracted with self-fulfillment, individual achievement, McMansions, and life coaches. We got soft. We played it safe. We stopped fighting for social justice.
Don Berwick’s speech at the convention was the spark that re-ignited that commitment to social justice. His campaign of bold progressive leadership comes at a time when people like me still have the will to fight for what we believe. It’s good to be back.