As the 2012 elections approached I started to feel very guilty about the state of the country that my generation, which was born shortly after World War II, was about to leave to my grandchildren and their peers. The conservative agenda was promising to starve government services of all kinds – public schools, food stamps, even the post office – with the aim of privatizing institutions that have served our nation well for decades. More laws limiting women’s reproductive rights seemed on the horizon, global warming was being dismissed as a liberal hoax, and the rights of labor — well, don’t even go there. I was afraid to wake up to a Republican sweep and a future of desperation and dislocation for millions of Americans. It felt like a huge generational and personal failure.
Instead, the November 6 election was a salve to my baby boomer soul. Having cut my political teeth in the civil rights movement of the 1960s,