If you’re reading this, thank a baby boomer

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In his review of Bruce Cannon Gibney’s new book, “A Generation of Sociopaths,” Dana Milbank presented as fact that the baby boomers are responsible for most of our society’s problems and the current political divide [“The boomer generation busted it all,” Outlook, March 12]. As a proud member of the baby-boomer generation, I reject his statement that boomers are narcissistic, impulsive and uncompromising.

During the past 50 years, our country has made great strides in women’s rights, civil rights and protections of marginalized people. We lead the world in the commitment to peace and democracy. Of course, we fail in other ways, but we aspire to the highest ideals. Democracy is a work in progress.

Milbank wrote that “selfishness led boomers on both sides . . . to believe that only they had the right answers.” No, those in the middle and slightly left of center (where most of us are) believe the answers provided by science are the way to inform public policy and create a just and prosperous society for all.

Don’t tell me that my Peace Corps-joining, civil-rights-marching, Planned Parenthood-supporting, deep-thinking, war-protesting generation is sociopathic. Our actions were taken to make life better for more of us.

Katherine O’Neill, Bethesda

Dana, you ignorant . . . Never mind, the boomers will get it.

So “everything that has gone wrong is the baby boomers’ fault”? To the contrary, the boomer generation has made great contributions.

Let’s start with the Internet. Arguably the most impactful invention in history, it brings education, entertainment and science to the world at an unprecedented rate and at virtually no cost. What did Generation X contribute? Vapid “apps,” Twitter-style short messages and truncated thinking.

Yes, the World War II generation won the war, but the boomers ushered in an era that was antiwar. We protested Vietnam because it was wrong. This helped lead to a historically unprecedented era of military restraint for a dominant world power, not really broken until the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The boomers also facilitated the single greatest expansion in civil rights in history, not just racial rights but also sexual-identity rights, consumer rights, women’s rights and environmentalism.

Larry Clinton, Silver Spring

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