The “Dumbest Generation”

The Millennial generation has been referred to as the “dumbest generation” by Mark Bauerlein he asserts, “Don’t trust anyone under 30”.  What does it say about our society when our predecessors insult the intelligence of a generation that did not elect to spend billions over seas, or fight unnecessary wars, or elect religious extremists to make decisions on what the government does.

My generation will struggle to tread water in a sea of debts, both public and private as far as the eye can see. This reality was not brought upon us willingly. The rusty can was kicked down the road until it hit us in the face. And now we receive the insult to the injury.

The great irony of the “dumbest generation” is that we are also the most tolerant generation. Our lives are not consumed by hate toward an ethnic race or foreign country. We are able to separate religion from politics. When we look up at a  “smarter generation” we see men debating proper sexual habits and how best to stop Americans from getting  universal healthcare rather than how to solve the real problems that plague our society.

If America is a country of dreams, where have they gone? Our churches send food to other countries while our own people starve in the streets. When someone points out the hungry here, they are met with a chorus claiming “the poor don’t work hard enough”.  When the people of New Orleans drowned and starved, our leaders observed the destruction from 20,000 feet. There may be charges lodged that ours is a lazy generation, but if the roles were reversed, you can be sure the city would have gotten all the help it could as fast as was possible.

While past generations elected war heroes and cowboys and men who pretended to be cowboys, the first election the Millennials got to vote in was the first election of a black man to the presidency. Never before had the youth of America mobilized behind a political cause. And how did the rest of the country respond?

In the very next election, those more mature than us came out dressed up as revolutionary war heroes, shot their guns, and installed men and women with extremist views in offices with the sole purpose of stopping any progress that our choice could make.

Already our generation has aided in pursuing a government healthcare system, we have pushed for more aid to higher education, we have demanded equal rights for gays and lesbians, and we want America to work again. But we are hopelessly outnumbered by a generation that thinks we know nothing and who will stand in our way until we become as disillusioned with the future as the stereotyped curmudgeon.

If we allow that to happen, then the “dumbest generation” truly will become the dumbest generation. For we would be confronted with the mistakes of our predecessors, and we would choose to repeat them. If that is our choice, then America will only continue to decline while we kick the can down the road evermore violently into the faces of our children.

At this focal point in American history, the future hinges on us. Will we allow the norm to continue and prove our predecessors correct? Shall we allow the insult to gain accuracy? Or shall we stand together as a group ready to fix America, and make it work the way it can work again?

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One response to “The “Dumbest Generation”

  1. Great writing Ryan! Critical, intelectual dialogue like yours are one of the best tools we have to not “allow the insult” of anyone talkin’ ’bout our generation “to gain accuracy”. Our generation has a bad rap (no J. Cole) before we’ve even stepped in the batter’s box. Your Tea Party comment was concise and on time. I especially liked your call-to-action conclusion. That said, I challenge your claim while referencing the presidential election of Obama that, “Never before had the youth of America mobilized behind a political cause.” The archetypal example of American youth mobilizing behind a political cause is the Vietnam Anti-War movement. Earlier still, the Civil Rights Movement was significantly advanced by mobilization of American youth (http://www.workers.org/2010/us/youth_pivotal_0218/)
    To marginalize the legacies of senior generations into the partisan polarization that has gridlocked our government may be as fallible as it is for Mark Bauerlein to judge our generation’s regression based on our pubescent existence in the Digital Age. (I want to read that book)
    Take care Azzy, good to read you.

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