The Cold Civil War
Heading out the door, the Viper Generation takes its last bow.


If their parents were the Greatest Generation, what can we say of our glorious Boomer forebears? The Worst Generation slips trippingly off the tongue. The Me Generation got hung on them long ago. The Narcissistic, Irresponsible, Arrogant, and Entitled Generation is a little long. So how about this: the Viper Generation.

For sure, weren’t they like vipers in the breasts of all those schlimazels who came home from the war and promptly went about their duties to be fruitful and multiply the suburbs? And the thanks they got was the poisonous asps who lay in their cribs, played in their leafy yards, broke down the remaining social barriers that had previously kept their riff-raff folks out of the Ivy League schools, and turned on their own kith and kin with a ferocity that hasn’t been seen since Orestes whacked Clytemnestra and her boyfriend though they obviously had it coming.

Dedicated as we are to striking, destroying, poisoning, and destabilizing, we naturally flocked to a party with a long criminal history such as the “progressive” Democrats had, and their admirably “flexible” and “nuanced” approach to such arcane notions as law and truth and morality and standards of right and wrong. It was like a permanent “get out of jail free” card, a form of atheist indulgence buying, but instead of sinning no more, we went out and sinned our tushes off.

Up was suddenly Down. Black was suddenly White. In was suddenly Out. How wonderful it all was. We never thought of the consequences, because consequences are for later and we are for the here and now. It’s no accident that one of our standard rejoinders when you lot objects to one or another of our social experiments that we’ve just implemented, usually by judicial fiat, is: “Well, the sky didn’t fall, did it?’

Only one thing stood, and continues to stand, in our way: you.

And by you I mean principally the other half of the Baby Boomer cohort, the ones who didn’t, like Satan, rebel. Some of them, a few, were like the angel Abdiel, who flirted with joining the insurgents but quickly repented and returned to the Enemy camp. But most of them just got up in the morning and went to work, dealing with reality as if it were, you know, reality, instead of the elaborate artificial academic construct we had fashioned. Unlike us, the constant kvetches, they never complained. They worked for ten cents on our dollar, their backs worth less than the penny for our thoughts, and still the fools were under the impression they were living the American Dream. Try as we might, and we did, to convince them otherwise, they believed in this country, believed in American exceptionalism, believed that their children would have a better life, believed — even when, like Abdiel, they slipped and fell — in the power of redemption. And even though we laughed at them, they persisted, which is one virtue we certainly know how to respect.

So the Cold Civil War continues, unto the generations, which would be mine. Because unless you finish us, we are most certainly going to finish you.

— David Kahane is the author of the incredibly prescient book, Rules for Radical Conservatives, from which this article is excerpted. You can tell him how right he is by “friending” him on Facebook, writing to him at [email protected], or following him on Twitter @dkahanerules.


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