Skip to comments.The Sheer Idiocy of Following Youth Movements (Ben Shapiro Rips Obama Youth Alert)
Posted on 11/12/2008 9:03:49 AM PST by UltraConservative
Greg Campbell is an obscure writer for the Fort Collins, Colo. But on Oct. 26, he penned what serves as the perfect window into the mind of many Barack Obama supporters. Campbell attended an Obama rally with his 11-year-old son, Turner. Turner was excited by Obamas typical American Dream stump speech. Campbell himself was excited not by Obama, but by his sons reaction: For me, (Obamas message) sunk in because I could see it through the eyes of an 11-year-old.
We have reached a dangerous point in American politics when parents take their voting cues from 11-year-old children. But Campbell isnt alone. Americans left and right have paid homage to Obama for getting the youth involved. In fact, young voters barely surpassed their 2004 turnout percentage -- voters aged 18-29 comprised just 18 percent of the electorate, as opposed to 17 percent in 2004.
Nonetheless, there is a feeling that youth led the way in this election. A new generation looks ready to engage in American democracy -- and not just on Election Day, gushed the Christian Science Monitor on Nov. 10. Encouragingly, this generation actually wants to interact with government, politics, and public service.
And Obama is looking to capitalize on that youth support. Obamas sophisticated online network is geared toward mobilizing teenage minions. Obamas proposed civilian national security force is directed toward calcifying support for him into support for his political program. And Obamas national service requirement is an attempt to turn young people into government employees.
There is no question that the Barack Obama Movement was led not by elder statesman, but by college students and twentysomethings. This election cycle provided Generation Y a chance to assume unearned moral superiority over their elders by promoting a black president. It also provided Generation Y a chance to live out the precepts of their public school educations, which focused on changing the world, as well as diversity and tolerance.
Heres the big question: Why in the world should we be excited about young Americans defining our politics?
No political mass movement led by young people has ever resulted in good. In fact, the most murderous mass movements in history have been led by young people. Nazism became popular among the youth before it became the German national theology; Hitler, of course, cultivated young people by targeting them for service in his SA, or Sturm Abteilung, and later, his Hitler Youth. The movement for Soviet Communism was led by young devotees of Lenin, who swallowed his sadistic ideology wholesale; later, the Soviet system would ask children to spy on their parents in service of the state. Similarly, the Chinese Maoists were largely composed of young people; so were the Vietnamese Viet Cong. It is no coincidence that the current Islamofascist movement is dominated by militant young Muslims.
In America, the story is the same. The disastrous 1960s were a result of the Greatest Generation giving full leeway to the baby boomers. Students led the movement for surrender in Vietnam, the anarchist movement, the so-called gay rights movement, and the free love movement. America has been plagued with the results of those movements ever since.
Young people have the enthusiasm for politics, but not practical experience or breadth of learning. They spend little or no time studying history. Instead, they are told from birth that they are the future, and that the future is in their hands. They rely on high-flown idealism rather than historical knowledge. Young people largely agree with the following precept: True idealism is nothing but the subordination of the interests and life of the individual to the community The purest idealism is unconsciously equivalent to the deepest knowledge.
Such idealism is the most basic building block for dangerous movements. But young people are not trained to see the danger in such idealism. It is only when young people grow up that they see Hitler in those lines rather than Barack Obama.
Celebrating the leadership of the youth in 2008 election, then, is a foolish exercise. Young people should be involved in politics -- they should protect their interests. But they, like all other voters, should be expected to get informed, not just motivated; they, like all other voters, should be expected to learn about policy, not merely follow a leader. And the rest of America should be expected to take the voting preferences of those who have never studied history, held a job, paid a bill, or built a family, with a large grain of salt. What inspires 11-year-olds or 21-year-olds -- should not be what inspires 40-year-olds.
Excellent article, thank you!
Yes; by definiton; a “youth” movement is characterized by its spotty or nonexistent knowledge of history. And this “American Idol” generation is possibly the grand prize winner in the brain dead department.
Thanks for posting this.
Good quote from the article: “Young people largely agree with the following precept: ‘True idealism is nothing but the subordination of the interests and life of the individual to the community ’”
How ironically self-serving and navel-gazing!
Reminds me of an old Reagan anecdote when he was governor of CA. Antiwar activists at UC Santa Cruz surrounded his limo and held up signs saying "We are the future." Reagan took one look, then wrote his response on a piece of paper and held it up to the car window. It said, "I'll sell my bonds."
The youth of today making decisions for us?
I’m beginning to resort back to my “Tawanda” attitude in the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes!
Like Kathie Bates’ character said, “I’m older and have more insurance.”
Idealistic is nice, but not realistic.
I think that Santa Claus should be on the ballot and then see if adults will do their children’s bidding by voting for him.
Santa Claus? Nah, he’s too wholesome and represents what was good about this country for American youths. They need bling bling, butt cracks showing, blackberries and IPod hipsters. Or a relatively unknown, questionable man promising euphoria.
True idealism is nothing but the subordination of the interests and life of the individual to the community
This is the kind of mindset that would probably agree with other uplifting slogans, too, like “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer,” and “Arbeit Macht Frei.” Fortunately, not many of The One’s followers speak German. /sarcasm
Pray for the Republic.
I always thought this was a pretty stupid quote. I had a brain even when I was 18 and I was conservative then as now. It also plays into the old BS that conservatives are "heartless". Conservative religious people do more charitable work around the world than any other group.
I'm reminded of how the concept of "teenager" as a social being never existed before WWII. Back then, kids tended to move out of their parent's home when they got married, and were immediately thrust into the adult world: bills, work, etc.
I think it was better that way. Nowadays, it seems like the entire media is focused on them: movies, magazines, fake news, etc, when their only notable quality is that they, as a group, seem to make poor personal decisions and can't hold on to their money. Oh wait, I think I just figured out why the media focuses on them!
“Be careful not to paint with too broad of a bush. There are still youths out there enlisting in the armed forces, entering the service academies, helping in their communities, holding conservative principles close, etc.”
Absolutely true. Youth is a wonderful thing; too bad it’s in the hands of those who are too young to appreciate it. (And I know that’s a paraphrase whose author’s name escapes my age-addled brain at the moment. It was that British playright/philosopher......)
The actions of youths you cite are not doing these constructive things out of any “youth movement” designed and marketed as a “break” from “the establishment”, particularly one as dizzy as the one we’re currently engaged with. And of course, they give great hope for the present and future. That’s MY “kumbayah”, not the ignorant nonsense peddled by the cult now in power.
(BTW: George Bernard Shaw wrote “Youth is wasted on the young”).
GBS: THAT’S the name I couldn’t come up with!
“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child...”
When children lead its not a good thing. Read what happened when PolPot used the children against the adults. It bodes ill that we permit the spoiled children of the Me now generation are given any sway. Good article.
I’m glad you mentioned that, the Pol Pot example was actually the very first thing that came to mind when I began reading the article; but I got distracted by the giddyness and exhuberance in the stock market.