I’ve always wondered somewhat about the relative indifference of the American public today towards politics, and one of today’s Daily Kos editorials gives a good reason why at least the younger generation of the United States is so jaded:
I cannot speak conclusively as to how previous generations have viewed our government–as an oppressor, as an adversary, etc. But I would venture to say that my generation views government as a complete joke.
After all, we grew up and came of age in an era where our “government” was defined by blow jobs, blue stained dresses, and Bushisms. We have come of age in a time where political discourse revolves around childhood taunts and bumper sticker slogans. We have been shaped by an era of political absurdity, where government is neither threatening nor worthy of respect, but is rather viewed as a tragic parody of what once was the greatest system of governance.
I believe, however, that while astute and altogether far too tragically true, these statements aren’t an instigator towards indifference, but rather an elusive combination of outrage and hopelessness. We all spent hours learning about our constitution, how it outshines every other form of government by orders of magnitudes in candela, or our government, with our spectacular and nigh superhuman historic leaders, all the way through high school, and yet we turn on the news and see a grotesque mockery that only vaguely resembles the indefinable marvel that is supposedly our government.
Of little help is the relative and grossly disproportionate ignorance we percieve our elders to possess. These are people who made up their mind on politics years upon years ago, and no longer have any ideals or notions about it; instead they simply blindly follow their ideas of bygone times in a manner which is tangentializing in remarkably and increasingly disastrous ways. Conversations such as I had with a few adults just yesterday fail to improve the general health of the scenario; these people could not bring up a single policy-based reason, or any sort of evidence backing their conviction that any and all Democrats aren’t very good leaders. Curious, I probed further, as I had always completely failed to comprehend such people, and, being largely surrounded by college youth, hardly happen upon any such characters.
These people could not explain why Rudy Guiliani would make a great leader, but were absolute and firm in their conviction as such. Upon bringing up the World Trade Center Emergency Center debacle, their response was simply that “people make mistakes,” and that it was a forgivable error in light of his clearly and vastly superior leadership skills, which still wait in want of any sort of evidence. I pointed out then as I again point out now, that a decision fails to qualify as a mistake and instead leans toward ridiculous and inexusable when a “leader” ignores the advice of every single one of his aptly named advisors — leadership is a two-way street, something the Bush administration clearly fails to comprehend.
However, whose fault is it really? Not really theirs, for they’ve been on this planet far longer than we, and have earned their right to be complacent, and to stick to what used to be justifiable convictions.
No, the fault is ours; the fault is that of the media; the fault is that of the rest of our country, our country that has become complacent, our country that has failed to coalesce into any sort of reasonable discourse, our country that has ceased to care, our country that can think no more highly of its own government than a circus, our country that has failed to be a country, but instead the dying, feeble idea of one, struggling to survive on the hollow proclamations of patriotism from a government and a party full of hollow promises. It is our fault, each and every one of us, for not questioning ourselves and others often enough.
Let us fix this before our future becomes even more grave.