Is it possible that the Baby Boomer generation all suffer from a type of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? That their youth filled with bomb shelters and threats of communist infiltration has left them traumatized. Do they suffer from Cold War Syndrome – the fear that we are in grave peril whenever we do not have an enemy inciting strong militaristic talk from our own leaders.
This syndrome includes the strong desire to stockpile weapons, have a National Offense Policy rather than a National Defense Policy, and the belief that anyone who disagrees with us is ideologically evil. Symptoms include, bullying our friends and threatening any who votes against our National Interests. Happiness and a sense of security is only achieved when the world tells us we are the best, most beloved, and bows at our feet.
The 80’s generation is often exempt from this syndrome because of the mentality that war equals total destruction, and our own leaders are just as dangerous as those of our enemy. However, there are a few who were overly influenced by movies like Red Dawn and have subsequently developed an off shoot of the syndrome called Cold War Hero Syndrome. This syndrome is similar to its parent syndrome, but deviates by placing a stronger belief on the idea that huge, home-based stockpiles of weapons will save the day.
It is highly possible that there is a genetic factor in the developing of Cold War Syndrome and Cold War Hero Syndrome. Evidence, while not conclusive, indicates that the syndrome is more prevalent in family units and therefore maybe passed from one generation to the next.
Fortunately these syndromes do have a cure. Education, Community Service, Cultural Diversity, International Travel, and Loving Thy Neighbor as Thyself all reduce, if not eliminate, the fear that perpetuates these syndromes. Humility and a desire to work with rather than dominate others, also helps.