Letter to the Editor

Gen X, millenials, Gen Z: Time to step up

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The founding fathers put their lives and property on the line to fight and establish our democracy and provide a constitution, though not perfect, as a barrier to monarchy and autocracy. They understood the constitution's fragility but believed through separation of powers, peaceful presidential transfer and belief in government institutions it would prevail.

The greatest generation survived the Great Depression and paid with their lives to fight a world war to preserve democracy, then rebuilt Europe and Japan into basic democracies with expanded world-wide economic opportunity. My boomer generation benefited from the economic growth following the war as our opportunities outpaced those of previous generations. However, we sacrificed over 50,000 lives for a questionable Vietnam War, which we ended by protesting. We got the mandatory draft overturned.

Then we buried ourselves in living the American Dream where both spouses worked and "keeping up with the Joneses" became our mantra by providing the best of all things to our offspring much of it to be paid for later, believing the good times would never end.

True, we initiated the tech revolution, but our focus on materialism ignored being realistic about factors that would truly impact future generations. As a result, the Gen X, millennials and Gen Z generations now face major dilemmas involving global warming, multiple wars, racial injustice, gun violence, gender inequality, women's rights, healthcare availability, voting suppression, unsustainable personal/government debt and lack of economic opportunity, now exasperated by an out-of-control virus, non-functioning government action and the worst president in our republic's history who demonstrates no regard for our constitution! If you believe in our democratic form of government set forth by our founding fathers and truly want aforementioned issues addressed, now is the time for you latter generations to step up!

Many of you have, by participating in peaceful demonstrations. However, typically, a large percentage of your generations have not voted in the past. This must change, because wholesale state and congressional personnel changes and President Trump need to be voted out before we devolve into an autocratic state or worse a dictatorship whereby protests are prohibited, and you will be told what issues get addressed. Your future, and in reality that of past generations still living, rests with your actions. Get registered and vote as early as possible.

Terry B. Yarns

Spirit Lake