With attribution to David Riesman, perhaps the best that can be said for our generational profiles may be summarized by the new members of “The Lonely Crowd:”
- “The G.I.s” were “tradition-bound visionaries” by the great American traditions—cultural relating, participative governance, free enterprise.
- “The Competents” were “inner-directed implementers” in following through on the great missions of the “G.I.s.”
- “The Boomers” were “other-directed generalists” based on the peer influences of their great numbers.
- “The X’ers” are “gadget-directed specialists” based on their limited introduction to fragments of The American Experience.
- “The Y’s and Z’s” are “cyber-driven adherents of naturalism” based on their deprivation from The American Experience.
By any measure, the leadership scale ranges from the heights of productivity (“G.I.s” and “Competents”) to its depths (“Y’s” and “Z’s”). These are the principal reasons that the U.S. is in economic and international crises: the increasing distance and isolation from “Greatness of Vision” and “Commitment to Mission.”
The “X’ers,” in turn, are represented by one of the candidates: attempting to redefine the wealth generated by productivity as the wealth redistributed by consumption. Witness the proposals for stimulating the economy based on printing inflationary dollars! “Paying expensive debts with cheap dollars,” is the music behind their words as we follow the path of all the “Tin Horn Dictators” of history.
In transition, we must physically embrace, emotionally relate, and intellectually empower each other for both the contributions we have made and those we are about to make.
Then—like the Good Bishop—we can embrace each other as members of “This Great American Family” and be “spiritually full again.”
Then we will all be “Remembering Americans!”