One Hope in A Sea of Hopelessness
Image Associated Press

One Hope in A Sea of Hopelessness

America is in a very bad place today, no matter what perspective one takes.

Politically, one is deluged by intrigue, chaos, corruption, greed and ignorance from the party in power; and the Democrats, with rare exceptions, have little to offer or to be proud of either.

Economically, we are riding a fool’s high as the richest among us as well as corporations gorge on new tax savings and new tax cuts. Anyone with a perspective of more than a decade know that all this will end badly, especially for the less fortunate among us.

Socially, we are divided like never before, stirred by a President who cares little about either side. Worse still, minorities have lost their voices, safety nets for the poor are in tatters, and healthcare for the needy, even for the majority, is torn beyond simple repair.

And, guns have never been easier to acquire and never been so deadly. The NRA, hiding behind the Second Amendment, has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams in controlling all levels of the polity and, not unimportantly, reaping obscene profits.

But, and it looks like a big but, the country’s children – the generation just coming of age – are outraged by the America they are inheriting. Indeed, they are disbelieving that their parents have allowed things to get so bad, that politicians are so self-serving, stupid and venal, and that adults, in the main, have let greed triumph over reason.

These children have awakened out of tragedy, having been personally unwitting participants in a slaughter of close friends and teachers at their high school, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. What they lived through and saw so personally was the horror of adult indifference, of allowing weapons of war in America proliferate without any checks and balances.

These children, wise beyond their age, are tech and internet savvy, and comfortable with 21st Century communications. They are the newest generation of Americans, and they have come of age out of necessity. They will all be voting very soon and already have found a voice that the NRA and politicians may not be able to silence.

Indeed, they have risen up to everyone’s surprise, except their own. They are angry that adults have allowed them to be vulnerable to merciless attack by instruments of war and they are staking out a new and hopeful role in America. They are no longer prepared to let their parents speak for them, recognizing that their parents are, indeed, part of the problem.

It is too early to be blindly hopeful, but there is reason for optimism. In fact, if adults have any promising role to play, it is to get out of the way and let this new generation take on the rot following years of self-serving ignorance and excess.

Daniel Socolow
Daniel Socolow: President, Socolow Group. Former Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, President of the American University of Paris, Vice President of Spelman College. BA, MA, Ph.D.

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