A few years ago, I noticed a very annoying meme emerging among people under the age of 30. It wasn’t their tendency to use the word “steal” when they actually meant “borrow something that one has a legitimate right to use,” as in “Dude, can I steal your pen for a second?”, as annoying as that was (and is.) Nor was it their insistence of responding to “thank you” with the phrase “no problem,” which I find especially irritating when used by a restaurant server. He brings you a clean fork. You say “thanks so much,” to which he replies “no problem.” Dude, of course it’s “no problem.” It’s your job, for heaven’s sake! Can’t you just acknowledge my appreciation with the traditional “you’re welcome?” How hard is that?
Both those obnoxious and ubiquitous figures of speech are trumped by what happens when someone mentions any event that happened before the year 1990 to anyone under 30. Such a reference is met with something along the lines of “Oh, I’ve never heard of that. I wasn’t born yet.” My response to that is “as if,” as in “As if the world started the day you, Very Special Young Person Whose Self-Esteem Must Be Exalted, came into it.”
Actually, my response is usually “I wasn’t born in 1863, but I have heard of Gettysburg.” As I am sure you expect, that sentence is guaranteed to produce a puzzled look on the part of most youngsters, reminiscent of that thing my dog does when I talk to her. She tilts her head to the side and furrows her brow as she desperately tries to find someway to understand the meaning of the sounds directed in her direction. That’s what most of my Millennial friends do when I mention historical events that were common knowledge to previous generations. Gettysburg? Are you kidding me? What are you talking about?
I had to laugh recently when I heard a panel discussion about the film Lincoln on one of the Sunday morning shows. The panelists praised the movie, saying that it was a tremendous achievement because, even though the audience knew the outcome, the passage and enactment of the 13th Amendment, they were engaged in the story until the end. I laughed, and wondered what percentage of the audience had any idea what this “13th Amendment” was.
Yet today, we are told by many elites that this demographic cohort, those with zero appreciation for American history, without the benefit of the wisdom that comes from life experience, who in many cases are the very definition of “low information” voters, are the very people we should look to for guidance about how to make laws and public policy for our country. How else to account for the incessant repetition of the argument in favor of so-called “same sex marriage”, that 70 or 80% of people between 18 and 29 years of age not only support it, but consider it ridiculous that it was ever an issue? They view it as the “civil rights” issue of our time. Oh, OK. Case closed. Except it isn’t, and simply because most wet-behind-the-ears twits steeped in years of pop culture pap believe emotionally-driven drivel about marriage doesn’t change that fact.
It was depressing enough to see many people who should know better, who are chronological grownups, over 40 or even 50 years old, embrace the idea that people in their twenties are “children,” who need to be coddled, supported and enabled in their arrested development, even as a 19 year-old was probably kicking in a door in Afghanistan. Now, we are told that these Peter Pans and Peter Pannettes are the oracles of how we should structure society. These are the people whom we need to listen to on to structure society? Seriously? A lot of these poor dolts can’t even read. They are lucky that they can figure out how to vote for their favorite American Idol contestants!
To be fair to these twenty-somethings, let’s leave aside the Left’s obvious success in their 100-year project of dumbing down the past three generations, and simply state a simple truth; that is, young people have a lot to learn. That was true 100 years ago, 30 years ago, and it’s true now. Ask yourself. How many stupid things did you believe when you were 20 that you now know were not only not true, but idiotic? What were you thinking, Bunky? Don’t be embarrassed. You weren’t alone. We were all right there with you.
Fortunately, back in the day, the grownups understood that they should be the ones making the important decisions, not us. The one glaring exception to that nearly-universally accepted truth was the embarrassing remark by the King of the Useful Idiots, our 39th president James Earl Carter, who claimed in the 1980 presidential debate that he looked to his ten-year-old daughter Amy for advice on nuclear proliferation. He was justifiably mocked for that moronic remark. Today in many circles, this sort of foolish reliance on the “insights” of the inexperienced and clueless is considered the height of insightful analysis.
The very fact that people 18-29 who grew up on a steady diet of Will and Grace and making sure that “everybody wins!” so that no one’s feelings are hurt are susceptible to appeals to “tolerance” without any appreciation for the consequences should surprise no one. The fact that alleged adults consider that fact a game changing argument should alarm all thinking citizens.
The Supreme Court should take notice of these polls of the young, and decide that if indeed this a “sea change” in attitudes, the change in law will occur through state legislatures where it belongs.