LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Geezer generalizes entire generationin attack on Millenials

I want to thank Kevin Leininger for sharing his wisdom and perspective in his editorial, “Will millennials’ views on economics, God threaten even Thanksgiving”. He writes with a point of view that is marked by life experience, endurance over hardship, and pragmatism. All virtues of his generation, which one day I hope to espouse. However, I believe his brief analysis of Millennials lacks context and misses the marks of generational unity that a society as great as ours deserve.

I was able to read the full, Annual Report on US Attitudes towards Socialism, which Leininger quoted multiple times. Leininger cited that, “just 33% percent of millennials were able to correctly define socialism.” He neglected to report the findings in the same report that only 35% of Baby Boomers can correctly define socialism, just 2% more than Millennials. Not to mention Gen Z scored the best overall in the study. I am really hoping that he overlooked this important contextual data this because a man of his generation would not knowingly mislead others, but then again maybe I too am improperly generalizing.

Accusing someone of ruining Thanksgiving is serious business. I learned in my college classes that when making an argument one should best use a number of independent sources, including peer-reviewed scholarly articles (those commies taught me well). While the Annual Report on US Attitudes towards Socialism, appears to be a well presented and legitimate study, with some interesting and perhaps alarming statistics, it should not be used as the only basis of an argument. It makes me leery to see someone of Leininger’s experience dismiss an entire generation based on a single source.

I must give Leininger one break, he hits it just right that we millennials have been, “weened on economic uncertainty, student debt, church scandals, family breakdowns”. Yes, many of my fellow Millennials are okay with, “trading a degree of freedom for the promise of security”. Perhaps because they seek a security that our elders sought and enjoyed, but failed to maintain. Or maybe because as Leininger himself points out “America’s greatest hope” for Millennials is to merely earn $40,000-60,000 and happily submit to an economic system that glaringly lacks basic principles of social justice such as solidarity and concern of the vulnerable. Mr. Leninger we are capable of so much more, if only it was asked of us.

To all Baby Boomers, on behalf of my generation, I want to apologize for any time that Millennials have been aggravating, unchurched, or disruptive.

Honestly, all most of us want out of this Thanksgiving is to sit down, carve the turkey, and crack some cold ones listening to your generation reminisce about the good ole days while my generation speaks of a hopeful future, together.

— Phillip Litchfield, Fort Wayne

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