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Connie Pillsbury is an independent opinion columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at

Imagine you are quietly paddling your kayak in a remote mountain lake, taking in the grandeur and beauty, the stillness and peace. Then out of nowhere, without warning, appears an extremely loud, clamorous speedboat catapulting along at top speed. It blasts past you, and in its tumultuous wake, your little kayak capsizes. You wonder where on earth it came from, who’s driving, and what is it doing here?

That’s how this woke movement feels to many of us Baby Boomers. Of all the generational groups affected by the current radical woke mob’s destruction of American values, perhaps the worst hit are the Baby
Boomers, those of us born between 1946, at the end of World War II, and 1964.

Why are we grieving so deeply? Why do we bounce between complete exasperation and a sense of hopelessness and anger when we read or watch the news? It feels like we are gasping for air in the wake of the woke. Gasping and grieving.


We are grieving because we knew our parents and grandparents. We heard the stories of the sacrifices they had made to build back their lives and their country after the Great Depression and World War II. We saw the carefully rolled balls of saved string, green stamps, and odds and ends in their parents’ kitchen drawers reminiscent of days of want, ration cards, and creamed tuna over toast. We saw the uniforms in the back closet.

We Boomers are well acquainted with that generation, our parents’ generation. We were taught the value of truth, integrity, honesty, and hard work. Our parents raised us to do our very best, practice common sense, respect law and order, keep our word, go to church, believe in God, and be loyal to our family and country.

Baby Boomers remember their parents at the kitchen table in the 1950s, passing on life’s practical truisms, as ‘If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again,’ and “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” “A penny saved is a penny earned,” and “Honesty is the best policy.”

Watching the radical left, the woke mob, rip to shreds those hard-won values of our parents’ generations is like witnessing death…death to all that is dear, all that is meaningful, all that lives were sacrificed for.

Those soldiers who went off to WWII by the thousands, many not coming home, would be appalled to witness looters freely and openly pillaging department stores with no accountability. How would they react to learn that the Flag Salute does not open the school day, and the national anthem has been banned from some sports? As freedom of speech is being openly quashed, they would be aghast that a college professor is allowed to present only one view or risk losing his position.

They would cringe at the thought of ‘Big Brother’ governmental tyranny tightening around every aspect of our daily lives. Most of all, those soldiers would be outraged that the very totalitarianism they fought against in Europe is now seeping its way into every corner of government bureaucracy in Washington D.C. and state capitols. The mainstream news, Hollywood, and the educational establishment are merrily skipping along with the woke agenda.

The irony is that we Baby Boomers have completed our years of service and finished our careers. Beyond voting, there is little to nothing that we can do about the raging, loud, out-of-control mob mentality that is dictating the direction of this country. Truly, we are gasping for air in the wake of the woke.