‘Historian Will Durant wrote that major historical figures are simply a catalyst at the right time and place. Change occurs because people are ready for it. Obama is not changing the direction of the country, the American public is.”
Catpaw, I was thinking the same thing but I was waiting for the right time to share those thoughts.
What makes the so-named “millennial” generation different is a number of things.
First, they are the first generation to have grown up with the presumption that you are, or should be, free to live your life as you choose. Unlike us seniors, they have comparatively little direct experience with the heavy, prurient government oppression that, when we were young, even made the words “damn” or “pregnant” in a film or TV show shocking and controversial.
There are twenty-something girls in my circle of friends and peers who are so openly brash about their sexuality that they make me sound like Gertrude Himmelfarb. Yet they are not getting pregnant; they are not getting abortions; they are not getting STDs; they are doing everything that we say responsible adults should do. Why the Republican Party’s neurotic, almost perverted fixation on other people’s pelvic regions? We’re responsible enough to handle our own lives, they say.
They want government out of our lives; ergo, they vote more Democratic.
Second, they’re losing something that we had: reasonable opportunity. And being generally less in the thrall of partisan media propaganda, they see the obvious, and it’s not the Democrats causing the problem.
They see a world ruled by concentrated money and power and inherited luck, where one’s odds in life are overwhelmingly decided by who and how wealthy your parents are; if you’re born to the losing end of the 98%, you either see a future of low-wage jobs or potential comfort at the end of a big gamble fueled by student debt.
They know that this is less a land of equal or reasonable opportunity than it has been in the last 50 years. And, contrary to popular partisan mantras about “equality of opportunity” versus “equal outcomes” (something that only the most far left Bay Area Democrats envision), I am quite confident that I can have almost every conservative here arguing against equal opportunity with all of their undying strength.
Do understand that the “equal opportunity” ideal is not well supported by the rare anecdote of the tireless underprivileged youth who managed to beat the odds and squeeze through that narrow gate of opportunity. Those “poor kid to riches” stories are, in reality, admissions that opportunity is grossly unequal and increasingly unrealistic today, or those stories wouldn’t be so remarkable as to be worth remembering and telling.
Learning that reality is not what you have believed it to be can be very disorienting. It can be frightening. It can be enraging. The natural reaction at first is to fight it and convince one’s self that, somehow, reality is still what one thought it to be. (Lashing out at the messenger comes quite reflexively, too.)
I’m seeing a great deal of all of these in the aftermath of the 2012 election.
Reality is different now. The “culture war,” I can for the first time say with confidence, is lost. Jim Daly, the current president and CEO of Focus on the Family, sees the light and has, in my opinion, a better approach for furthering his perspective. Look for that word “orthopraxy.” It is worth the read.
For that reason among others, this was indeed a pivotal election. The Republican Party top operatives were so close to being able to stack the Supreme Court to the point of literally shelving the Bill of Rights that they could taste it. But if they lost, the “culture war” would be lost, for all practical purposes, forever.
To borrow from the late Paul Harvey, now you know the rest of the story behind the extreme desperation that powered this year’s battery of dirty election tricks.