I have spent the past week behind enemy lines. While the Great War between Millennials and Boomers will briefly detour to Thanksgiving dinner tables in the coming weeks, it is chiefly an Internet War, fought in the trenches of Twitter and across the great open plains of Facebook. The latter is where I conducted my scientific espionage, perilously risking my own sanity whilst infiltrating a handful of the seemingly endless Boomer Strongholds populating the social media platform.
Can you feel them rolling their eyes right now? Huffing at the thought of a self-righteous Millennial with the audacity to compare a Glorious American War like WW1 (although it would not surprise me if the self-proclaimed gatekeepers of all history think of WW2 instead) to people arguing over the internet? Classic dumb fucking Millennials. They just don’t know how good they have it.
The Facebook group “Trump for President 2020” has over 210,000 members and its distribution can be described as overwhelmingly white and 55+ years old, or in other words, a Boomer Zoo. Gathered here are the great masses of the Oppressed, heinously wronged by eight years of Obama in ways that are so profound they defy description, which is to say that when pressed, not a single member of the group is capable of articulating what exactly it is that the last administration did to make their lives so much worse.
At the top of the group description is a warning: NO POSTING FAKE NEWS or FAKE NEWS SITES- IT WILL BE DELETED. As such, the only website links shared among the group are from storied journalistic outlets with names like Freedom Press Watch, Right Wing Tribune, Real Patriot News, and the New York Post. Also included in the deluge of misinformation are random blogs whose writers do not appear to be aware of the existence of punctuation, highly scientific polls confirming that, contrary to nonsense peddlers like Gallup, the AP, and 538, ninety-eight percent of Americans do in fact Stand with Trump, and memes. So many memes.
Much in the way that we Millennials convey our nihilism and existential anxiety through the absurdism of our memes, if one wishes to truly understand the Boomer State of Mind, all they need to do is check out their memes. Figure 1 is a standard issue Boomer Meme, and though it displays a surface level simplicity, there is actually quite a bit of information we can extract from this image.
There are three levels here. At the top we have “Trump Good.” This is the defining characteristic of all Boomer Memes, regardless of their specific content. While other memes genres display a wide range of purposes, Boomer Memes exist solely to promote the Greatness of Trump.
As the second level we have “Clinton Bad.” Much in the way that Luke has Vader, Harry has Voldemort, and Federer has Nadal, Hillary Clinton is the ultimate foil to Donald Trump, a primordial evil lurking ominously along the fringes. She is the root of Everything Wrong with this country, which is why Boomers will almost always begin any counter-argument with some variation of the phrase “But Hillary Clinton…”
At the third and final level we have a dismissiveness towards Russian influence in the election, which itself is an extension of the Boomer propensity to deny anything that detracts from the totality of Trump’s win. This delusion persists largely because of continued Boomer anxiety over Clinton winning the popular vote, which contradicts the popular notion that some sort of silent majority exists for Trump. Boomers know they are in the majority; therefore any information to the contrary must be conspiratorial in nature, like Illegal Immigrant Voter Fraud or the entire state of California.
The above meme is a more nuanced expression of Boomer Bullshit. We know empirically that Conservative ideology breaks down when exposed to reality, which is why a tremendous amount of cognitive dissonance and intellectual dishonesty is required in order to defend Republican talking points. A combination of willful ignorance and intense brainwashing fuels these mental gymnastics, which are showcased spectacularly in Figure 2. For example, the key issues at the heart of the Democratic platform (climate change, gun control, access to healthcare and abortion, reducing income inequality, etc.) all predate the current administration by dozens of years, but sure, everyone is blaming everything on Trump.
A key component of Boomerism is the empirically false notion that there is some positive correlation between wisdom and age, a belief that is often used as blanket check against logic and/or the presentation of facts (“Wait until you’re out in the [constantly moving goal posts that are the arbitrarily defined] real world.”). True to this point, the star of this meme is a befuddled Millennial, who presumably has just realized that her elders were right all along! Democrats, not Trump, are the real problem.
This false equivalency between age and wisdom is also one the primary reasons that Boomers hate technology. Take this particularly hilarious example of Boomer Bitching. Among multiple ridiculous claims, walking stereotype Steve Cuozzo declares that actual history cannot “easily be found on iPhones.” Now, unless the information you seek is only contained within the weathered pages of a cursed tome that has been locked away in a subterranean temple in order to protect man from the forbidden magic, then it can easily be found on the internet. Boomers know this, and it drives them fucking crazy. Knowledge is power, and the easy accessibility of information via technology has shattered the monopoly on knowledge that Boomers believe they’re entitled to because their own parents didn’t have to compete with the Internet for the final word. They also hate technology because they struggle with simple tasks like resetting the router, opening email attachments, and watching porn without ruining the family computer. But I digress.
Naturally, the age-equals-wisdom logic does not apply to older liberals, such as the congresspeople listed in Figure 2. This brand of Republican irony manifests in many forms, such as the idea that Trump is a genius because he a self-made billionaire, while actual self-made (and significantly wealthier) billionaires like Bezos, Gates, and Zuckerberg are all idiots. Boomers also love to remind everyone that the GOP was the “Party of Lincoln” while simultaneously raging whenever a Confederate statue is torn down.
Part of being a Boomer is constantly projecting about how much harder life has been for them, in general but especially when compared to Millennials. Babbling on about relative toughness is quintessentially Boomerish, so it should come as no surprise that a significant percentage of their memes display a serious degree of machismo. Often, this takes the form of Military Worship, such as Figure 3. Boomers love the military because the military is tough, like them. Like Boomers, the military doesn’t deal with Snowflakes or Safe Spaces either. At present time, they are also really, really obsessed with the dog from the al-Baghdadi raid.
Similar to an insecure elementary school bully, the notion of Boomer Toughness – that they were collectively hardened by some tragically challenging upbringing – is an illusion. The economic data of the post-war years more than shatters the ridiculous claim that Millennials have it easy compared to their parents. Boomers, as everyone knows, benefited tremendously from a period where American economic policy was (ironically) much more socialist. In exchange for the prosperity of the postwar years, Boomers have ravaged the country through a combination of reckless deficit spending (to their near-exclusive benefit) and the continued propagation of the Trickle Down myth to justify shitty tax policy. Despite tales of trudging uphill through the snow having evolved into Boomers describing their youthful years as borderline dystopian, we now have concrete data showing that Millennials (and subsequent generations) will end up worse off than their parents in virtually every financial metric despite working longer hours and being better educated. Unsurprisingly, the reason is not because of avocado toast.
Likewise, their military worship only extends as far as the military is willing to support Trump. When an actual badass and hero like say, former SOCOM commander William H. McRaven pens a blistering op-ed about how Trump is destroying our republic, the Boomers are strangely silent. Ditto for Trump’s repeated attacks against John McCain, who Boomers have decided they hate despite the fact that they voted for him in droves a little more than a decade ago.
Figure 3 gives us yet another excellent glimpse into the Boomer State of Mind. Army Dog, whose name is apparently Conan, combines these aspects of Boomer mythology into one embarrassingly cringey meme. Take the masturbatory machismo of the language, which Boomers have been rabidly echoing ever since Trump dubiously announced that al-Baghdadi died whimpering, crying and screaming. Boomers have been losing their collective minds over this quote, likely because a crying and whimpering terrorist reminds them of those gosh darn kids these days. If only al-Baghdadi was living in America, he could have run off to a Safe Space.
The fourth meme on our tour is perhaps the most unfortunate of the bunch. Although not quite as loathed as Clinton or even Nancy Pelosi, Obama’s existence continues to keep Boomers tossing and turning throughout the night. Obama, as we all know, committed numerous atrocities in office, such as delivering signature healthcare reform that granted an unprecedented number of Americans access to insurance, successfully guiding the country out of the single worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and negotiating a deal with a hostile foreign power that could have very easily escalated into a massive war. Talk about inept, corrupt, wasteful, subversive, destructive, and divisive. No wonder he is still on the Boomer shit list.
Just kidding! Boomers hate Obama because he is black. Despite the endless repetition of nonsense conspiracies like abortion being a plot to suppress black populations or social security programs only existing to trap African Americans in a form of modern slavery, the reality is that the Trump presidency has been predictably terrible for black people. On the other end of the spectrum, ask your Obama-hating parents to detail why exactly they hate him so much, and I can almost guarantee that the response will be hyperbolic nonsense about Obamacare, disgruntled mumbling about how corrupt he was without citing a single specific example, thinly veiled racism about how he wasn’t born in America and is a Muslim and/or Muslim lover (unlike with African Americans, Boomers feel no obligation to hide their overt disdain for Muslims), or the aforementioned deflecting to “But Hillary Clinton…”
Figure 4 perpetuates the Boomer delusion that by electing a black guy as President, liberals are somehow the real racists. Even more laughable is the implied sadness of the situation, as if the people sharing this meme would be real devastated if we never elected another black president because Obama was so terrible. By posting comments like “Damn Shame!” or “It’s a crime what the Democrats have done to the blacks!” on memes such as Figure 4, Boomers can feel comfortably Not Racist despite their unwavering support for a president who is openly the opposite.
Although racism, pseudo-toughness, and general ignorance are key features of the Boomer State of Mind, they are not the nuclear core of this miasma of shitty character traits. That designation is saved for the pinnacle of Boomerism, the Wannabe Victim Complex. Above fame, fortune, and the intense desire to gun down an African American home invader in the dead of night, Boomers want, desperately and more than anything else in the world, to be the victim. It is an insatiable craving, a hunger that gnaws at their souls like a mangy dog with an old crusty bone.
The Wannabe Victim Complex permeates through all aspects of Boomerism. The Deep State is out to get them. Illegal immigrants and Muslims are out to get them. Democrats are out to get them. Woke culture and college campuses are out to get them. They are coming for your guns. They are coming for your jobs (especially if you are a coal miner, which is apparently 80% of the country, gauging by the conservative). They are coming to blow you up and take Jesus out of the classroom and tell you what words you can say and what bathrooms you can use and they are ruining families and marriage and MURDERING BABIES and plotting the downfall of the Anglosphere and they going to build a mosque when they finish the job and they are brainwashing the kids and turning them into scary things like gender non-binary and they are gonna raise taxes on YOU to give Mexicans free everything and meanwhile the Mexicans are bringing over drugs and crime and rapists and all of this Abject Horror is coalescing into this ethereal darkness whose sole purpose is to destroy you, the Older White Lower-to-Middle Class Voter, thus rendering your existence null and void.
It is a strange obsession, to say the least, but easily understood within the greater context of Boomerism as a whole. Simply put, if Boomers are not the victims then their entire ideology collapses. They have to be the victim, otherwise the abhorrent nature of their political positions, which the Boomers know deep down are fucked up, become untenable. Without playing the ultimate Victim Card, the Boomer will be unable to justify why they are such an asshole, and no amount of mental gymnastics or intellectual dishonesty can reconcile this. To make matters worse, if Boomers are not the victims then someone else must be, which means that, contrary to popular Boomer Lore, there is some group of people out there for whom things are not so much easier these days (gasp). Therefore, a Boomer who is not a victim is faced with two unpleasant choices: Admit that they are, in fact, a racist, self-centered cunt, or even worse, admit that they were wrong (double gasp).
Luckily for the Boomers, Trump is the biggest victim of all, and he understands. In Figure 5 we have a variation of the classic “Trump Against the World” mentality, which the Boomers very much relate to on a personal level. Like the Boomers themselves, Trump is tough because he has to be, lest he destroyed by the seemingly endless forces working against him. Trump, to his credit, has capitalized beautifully upon these insecurities, even if the majority of his persuasiveness is nothing more than surface-level pandering to Boomers that reaffirms their victim complex by assuring them that yes, white people are indeed being conspired against by other white people as part of a plot to destroy white people.
At the beginning of this article I noted that most of the members in the big pro-Trump Facebook group were older white people, i.e. the typical profile we picture whenever someone mentions the dreaded Boomers. That said, there is a key distinction between simply being someone born between 1946-1964 and being a goddamn Boomer. Not everyone born during the immediate postwar years is a “Boomer” in the postmodern sense of the word; conversely, members of the proceeding generations can absolutely be Boomers, such as fuckwads like Ben Shapiro or Tomi Lahren.
How is this possible? Well, as you might have gleamed from the title, Boomerism is a State of Mind, a set of personality traits and political beliefs that requires no prerequisites from its adherents other than rampant hypocrisy, narcissism, and a blind willingness to tune out anyone that offers a meaningful rebuttal of their dogshit dogma. So, while the majority of the Boomers are older and white, they actually come in a variety of ages and backgrounds. What fun!
The horrifying reality underlining all of this is that the people sharing these god-awful memes actually represent a very significant percentage of the American voting population which, you might remember, last elected a literal fucking psychopath into the most powerful office in the world. Last year, Millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z combined to cast more votes than the Boomers for the first time ever, and the result was the Democrats retaking the House. Given the natural cycles of life and death, it thus stands to reason that 2020 will see the disparity between Boomer turnout versus everyone else increase even further, but only if we actually show up and vote. So please, for the love of everything, get registered now to avoid any Boomer fuckery, lest we have to endure another four years of this bullshit.
Lastly, if you are a Boomer or someone who identifies as a Boomer, and you have issues with the contents of this article, I leave you with a meme from my own generation: