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Dear Gen X MAGA

By Sharon Synowsky

Dear Gen X MAGA,

We were the first generation raised with TVs in our homes. Our first friends (and babysitters) were Big Bird, Ernie and Bert, and Fred Rogers. Big Bird taught us to be kind and empathetic. Ernie and Bert taught us to be true to ourselves because even opposite kinds of personalities can be BFFs. Mister Rogers taught us we were special, it’s a beautiful day, and to use our imagination.

We were told “Rub dirt in it and take a lap”, “I’ll give you something to cry about”, “Yeah? People in Hell want ice water”; “Your face will freeze like that”; and “Wish in one hand, shit in the other and tell me which one fills up first”. We drank out of garden hoses, played lawn darts, rode bikes without helmets. In the summer, we would leave the house at dawn (ok – ten a.m.) and not come home until the streetlights came on. This taught us to be tough, to dig deep inside ourselves, and to work for what we wanted.

We were the “latch-key kid” generation. We lived on Pop Tarts, Kraft mac & cheese, Chef Boyardee and Mt. Dew. We developed strong stomachs and an even stronger Bullshit-o-meter. We learned, early on, to be independent, self-sufficient, responsible, and to think for ourselves. We became fluent in sarcasm, cynicism and wanting to be left alone. John Hughes was our Shakespeare: Prince, Madonna and Beastie Boys; our Mozart, Beethoven and Brahams.

We never lived in a time when women couldn’t vote. We were too young to know when our mothers received the right to get a credit card in their OWN name and the right to make choices over their OWN bodies. We just grew up knowing WE had those rights, thanks to generations who came before us.

We witnessed history, over and over. We lived through the Cold war. We heard Reagan say, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” and cheered as the Berlin Wall fell. We cheered the lone man bravely standing in front of tanks leaving Tiananmen Square following the massacre of student protesters.

Why are you ready to throw it all away?

Trump is antithetical to every last thing Gen X is…

Every. Last. Thing.

We bucked authority and despised dictators. We respected that trait in others.

We just wanted to have fun, so we fought for our right to party. We were walkin’ on sunshine, we had a fast car, and nothing was going to break our stride. We had the eye of the tiger, wanted to rule the world, and we were never gonna give you up. We were dancin’ in the dark and livin’ on a prayer. We were under pressure. We felt it in the air. We knew what it sounds like when doves cry. We were born in the USA, we didn’t start the fire, and we weren’t going to take it anymore. We beat our chests, and bellowed “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me”, because it’s the end of the world as we know it. But we didn’t stop believin’.

So please, next weekend, eat nothing but Spaghettios, Pop Tarts, Kraft mac & cheese. Drink nothing but Mountain Dew. Binge-watch John Hughes movies. Listen to Prince, Madonna and Beastie Boys on repeat (throw in some Twisted Sister for good measure). Leave your phone at home and ride your bike until the streetlights come on (yeah, you can wear your helmet).

We are the generation who rooted for Ferris Bueller and the kids in The Breakfast Club (still do), and we would never want the real-life embodiment of Principals Vernon and Rooney back in the Oval Office.

Because if Trump does get back in,

Hullo, McFlyyyyy!

Welcome to the jungle.

(Seriously, did you all eat Pop Rocks with Pepsi one too many times? Suffer one too many dodgeballs to the head?)

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