I think a lot of our problems started in the 60s, when young “Boomers” (like me) became involved in politics. The problem was that they (we) let uninformed idealism (which we had in abundance) outweigh good sense (which we had not yet developed).
The problem was exacerbated when people actually started to listen to us. The worship of “youth” is a dangerous thing when picking leadership.
Every generation that comes along thinks that they have “discovered the answer”, only to realize, with time, that their lofty convictions were merely the foolishness of youth. That’s not to slam young people; foolishness is part of the charm of youth.
We seem to have lost the healthy respect for wisdom over the past 30 years or so.
I wince every time I hear polls of “what young people” think. I mean, think of what your outlook on life was when you were 18, 19, or in your early 20s versus what it is today.
I also wince when people talk about “getting more young people involved in the system”. This is the very thing that beget us Obama; people who knew nothing, but were intent on electing “the fist black President” because they wanted to “make history”.
I hate to say it, but from what I’ve seen of a lot of people, I would prefer that they don’t vote; they are woefully uninformed on practically every subject and are far too easily swayed by empty slogans and emotionalism.
The much maligned newt Gingrich made some very good points in a book he wrote back in the 80s. He said that the maintenance of civilization is the handing down of values to succeeding generations, and that a civilization can literally be lost in the span of one generation.
Boomers came from good stock; the WWII generation. Alas, many of us neither respected or emulated the accomplishments or fortitude of our parents – we rebelled. While rebellion is a natural outgrowth of youth, at some point, it should be replaced by the acceptance of the standard of preceeding generations. Not nearly enough of us accepted that standard and we have endangered the republic, as a result.
In the case of the Boomers, due to our large numbers, we overwhelmed society and actually felt that we were the leading edge of a societal revolution….and we were, only not for the better.
Many of us DID accept the standard, eventually, and I am proud to be one of them. We became the Neo-Cons who were instrumental in the “Reagan Revolution”. Still, I am ashamed at many of my co-generationalists, and what they have wrought through their abject refusal to accept their mistakes and acknowledge the damage.
But oh, how I still love the music from those days; it was a bit of a renaissance that still echos to this day.
I think that what gave me the clue though, and steered me away from the Leftist preaching from these people was the fact that, while they constantly criticized capitalism and “big business”, they were all under contract with major record labels and were making $Millions for themselves as well as the record companies. That fact seemed to have been lost on many who took their political words as gospel.
Where are they now? Likely still living a soft, cushy life off the royalties. That’s all fine with me, it’s the sheer hypocrisy that is troublesome.
The 60s/70s were nothing short of an ad campaign; “big business” sold us the music, the clothes and the entire lifestyle, neatly packaged for a gullable, foolish generation, so that we could think that we were “rebelling against The Man”. “The Man” was deeply grateful for the business!
As I look around, many young people are adopting “the look” of those days; the bell bottoms, tie-dyed shirts, etc., and history, thus repeats itself.