Sam Smith – Lately, I’ve been struck by the weakness of opposition to what is happening to our country and its values. Sure there are progressive commentators listing the crimes and a few things such as abortion and climate change that garner significant opposition, but especially among the young there is no mass demand for cultural and political change.
I am conscious of this in part because I was a member of what was simultaneously called the silent and the beat generation. The former was the dominant style of the young while the latter was what I came to think of as the warmup band of the sixties. We didn’t have solutions, just dissatisfaction expressed more culturally than politically.
Six decades later I am struck by the lack of a strongly visible demand that older Americans stop misbehaving and destroying our country.
Part of this is due to the role of mass media determining our view of what’s going on. Part is due to the identity-based politics that has led young Americans to ignore the role of common generational change. I wonder, for example, how well the civil rights and woman’s movement would have done if they had started now instead of when they did.
The young are being screwed not only by a over-aged Supreme Court but by a lack of more senior leaders like Martin Luther King and Ralph Nader. And if the young can’t organize for a better future for all, their own is condemned.