Casual observation: People who talk and act like they were never young usually say dumb things.
“I am not particularly enamored with ‘the youth,’ says Jonah Goldberg, the columnist from National Review and The Los Angeles Times (not to be confused with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic). Goldberg explains in the video, which I found in an Andrew Sullivan post, that young people are not to be entrusted with things like voting and decision-making powers. And from the other half of Sullivan’s post comes The Weekly Standard’s Matt Labash chiding young people for using the internet.
Goldberg’s point is that science proves young people are stupid because they’re, well, young, and don’t know any better. Therefore we latch onto silly things like socialism or progressive politics, completely unaware that the nature of our democratic system wants us ‘frickin’ stupid’ kids to listen to the wiser generations. If we would just do that, then by gum we would see the light and error of our ways and learn how to run this joint in preparation for the time when all the baby boomers finally kill each other off into extinction. So listen up, my fellow idiots: in order to save civilization we need to start taking notes on how to repeatedly start wars, destroy our financial system, refuse rights for entire demographics, follow a single religion/worldview, and never do anything toward fixing anything ever.
His comments are aimed at discouraging young people from thinking. Labash hates on us for being fluent in technology, since it’s clearly a fad. Neither are particularly constructive in their criticism, both just come out as an indictment of, well, being young. What are we supposed to do? Bypass high school and college, go right to — under the tutelage of our elders — the upper echelons of society and throw money we don’t have at the problem until it goes away? That is what is happening now. I for one prefer to put in the work to figure out what the hell I’m doing instead of guessing.
The arrogance of a narrow-minded man comes through in one sentence. Goldberg assumes Americans always learn from their mistakes, and shrugs off the existence of “entrenched, aristocratic elites who have rigged the system to justify their own status.”
Hello, Mr. Goldberg, my name is Mr. American Political System. I don’t believe we’ve met. Allow me to give you the executive tour: On your left, you can see bankers, executives and lawyers entering elected office to further their own gains. On your right, gape at the awesome and terrifying power of Mr. Corporation, the immovable object designed to support yours truly, as well as aid in impeding social progress of any kind. Did I mention he’s officially a person now? Particularly proud of that one. Up ahead — Mr. Goldberg keep your hands off the social security nest egg or I’ll be forced to prematurely drain you of your soul to feed my low tax rates! — you’ll notice a perpetual war being fought against an enemy that doesn’t die. Off in the distance you can see the Halls of Youth Unemployment, but due to the rapid expansion of this attraction, we’re going to need to prohibit photographs so that only young people who use the internet/sorcery machines can tell of its existence, and I’ll proceed to marginalize them, since you believe no one under the age of 43 should vote. Or have healthcare. That’s a future tour, called “So You’re Going to Die? Too bad.”
What about any of those things isn’t rigged in favor of the people who don’t have to pay for them or figure out how to solve them? In this century alone, two wars have been started without the requisite tax offset to pay for them. That’s the only time in our history that has happened. We live in an era where consensus idiocy *is* the status quo, and foresight extends to the next immediate election, not the next generation. Does anything work for anyone outside the entrenched aristocratic elite circle? Of course not, no one can afford any of it. This must be the only existence in the universe of Bizarro World Socialism where one group of people pays into the collective pool (taxes), and see no return investment because the administrators and collectors use it to buy themselves new sets of golf clubs, and then vote to extort a tax on the people who aren’t using the clubs. I don’t think any young person is frickin’ stupid enough to favor that.
The chronic impetus to commit mistakes and not learn from them is, in my view, the great divider between the millennials and the anti-millennials. Do the anti-millennials truly grasp that we’re in this together, and we’ll all live and die by each other? Selfishness benefits the few, not the masses. There used to be a time in our history, before the age of greed, when it was the consensus that everyone was finding their way together.
It would be easy to cite the progressive politics of the Sixties as the best precedent for a time when people both young and old got it. Go back further. President Theodore Roosevelt, accused of being a socialist in his time, gave a speech in Kansas in 1910:
“Our country means nothing unless it means the triumph of a real democracy…of an economic system under which each man shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him.”
That can be applied beyond a system of economics. He continues:
No man is worth his salt in public life who makes on the stump a pledge which he does not keep after election; and, if he makes such a pledge and does not keep it, hunt him out of public life.The absence of effective State, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power.
The object of government is the welfare of the people…The prime problem of our nation is to get the right type of good citizenship, and, to get it, we must have progress, and our public men must be genuinely progressive.
Gee willikers, I thought the culture being exuded by young people was ruining everything. Only ignorance cripples progress, not the vast idealism of youth.