I grew up political. I also grew up Gen X, particularly that little slice of Gen X who knew that nothing we did was going to matter because Reagan was going to get us all killed with his macho, anti-communist, bullshit posturing before we got to see any significant slice of adulthood. It turns out we were wrong about that too, though not because of Reagan. An awful lot of people worked to keep us all from dying.

It took a long time to grow out of this idea that nothing we did mattered. In the meantime, we watched our parents’ generation plunder our political heritage. We were badly outnumbered, but we could have done more if we’d only known how. Somehow, though, the generation that wasn’t interested in making sure we had schools, jobs, bridges, or retirement funding also wasn’t interested in making sure we had a way to plug into the political process and make our voices heard.

Stephanie Zvan on betrayal.

That political disenfranchisement thing Millennials grumble about? We weren’t the first to experience it, just the latest.

Incidentally, if you want to really, really piss off a Baby Boomer–particularly one that considers themselves politically progressive–use the words “inter-generational theft” or “inter-generational disenfranchisement” and then sit back with the popcorn.