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The Expansionist
Monday, February 06, 2012
Greatest Generation, Your Ass! Brian Williams, anchor of NBC Nitely News, ticked me off again tonite in talking nonsense about the "Greatest Generation". I sent the following email to NBC News, about its appalling lack of perspective.
Kindly STOP using the preposterous term "Greatest Generation" to refer to the Great Depression-WWII generation. If you truly believe that these people, who SUFFERED misfortune not of their choosing, is greater in any way whatsoever than the generation that CREATED the United States, and CHOSE the hardships they endured for our sake and the sake of this benighted planet, there is something seriously wrong with you. Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, Monroe, Adams, and on and on and on, have no peer in that 20th Century generation. The latter wrote NONE of our basic documents and created NOTHING in the way of the basic structure and culture of this Nation. They are NOT the "Greatest Generation". They're not even the SECOND-greatest, which term must surely apply to the 19th Century generation that held the Union together and abolished slavery, at huge personal cost. STOP using Tom Brokaw's IDIOTIC term. It was NEVER right, NEVER justified, and always INSULTING to the Founders of this Republic.
The generation that Brokaw stupidly calls the greatest, had disasters befall them. They didn't intend to suffer the world's worst Depression, nor its worst war. Those disasters just happened to them, and they struggled to survive. None of them volunteered to be crushed by the defects of laissez-faire capitalism. And the bulk of the soldiers who fought WWII were conscripted — drafted. Perhaps as few as 1/3 volunteered, and only 73% of the U.S. military in WWII served abroad.
By contrast, every single Revolutionary War soldier volunteered. Every single one (including one of my ancestors). And the war came home to them.
Does anyone on Earth think that our parents/grandparents (whatever) embraced the Depression? Do you think they WANTED to be thrown out of work and reduced to penury, then drafted to be sent thousands of miles from home to fite in hell? If they had asked to be laid off, for the sake of building their character, or volunteered to be cannon fodder in Europe or the Pacific, that would be one thing. They did not. Nor did they accomplish anything like the changes at home that the Civil War generation or the 60s generation did. So let us never hear "the Greatest Generation" in Tom Brokaw's sense again. Ever.

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