Lance Scranton: Generational gaps
June 16, 2015
You've heard about Bruce Jenner transitioning to Caitlyn status because you can't get away from all the media coverage. This isn't the first time (remember Christine Jorgensen?) and it won't be the last that someone decides that they aren't happy about who they are and have the resources to do something about it. Regardless, I don't get my moral beliefs calibrated by reading Vanity Fair nor do I really care about Caitlyn's personal life because I'm more concerned about larger events that help shape our country.
Before you get upset because you want to rail against people like me who just don't understand how America is failing morally, I would point out the fact that teen pregnancy and abortion rates are at historical lows and the New York Times reports that divorce rates have been falling over the past 3 decades. It seems to me that the Millennials (b. 1980-2000) generation might have figured out a few things and we might look to them for solving some of the social and economic messes we've produced.
Consider the fact that our country, led by Baby-Boomers (b. 1943-1964) and Generation X (b. 1965-1979), is catapulting itself into a spiraling debt scenario that might never be recovered from and nobody seems to want to make any tough choices to do anything substantive because it might be painful. Whatever kind of economic recovery our country is supposed to be experiencing seems more propped up by misleading statistics than any actual improvement.
Social issues, such as someone deciding that their anatomy doesn't match how they feel about themselves is brushed off with casual indifference by most young people I talk to because they carry around a more tolerant sense of things that quite literally freak out some older people. Remember though, it isn't that young people don't have a serious sense of morality, it's simply that they can't get overhyped about someone making a decision they might not agree with and believe that Caitlyn should just be left alone to make whatever decision she (or he) wants to make.
One thing Millennials seem to have figured out that older generations have forgotten (or at least lost their way) is that getting our own house in order (economy!) is a much bigger issue than getting all flustered about a private, personal decision that will likely not have any lasting effect on us longer than the news cycle it enjoys. I'm a bunch more worried about how our younger generation is going to dig itself out of the economic mess we have allowed to continue for the past 25 years.