was successfully added to your cart.

How Young People Have Become Politically Clueless – A Professor Speaks

By November 21, 2016 Children

Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth

Cuts heal slowly, and they heal even more slowly if picked at and chewed on. We can, however, gain some insight into the wreckage of this election if we do a little calm analysis. I have the privilege of still being in contact with many of the students I taught years and years ago and watching their reaction to the Trump presidency has disturbed me. These young people are smart, well-educated (in the 21st century sense of the word), and hold responsible jobs. They aren’t discontented ne’er-do-wells. Most of them, in spite of having sat in my classroom, are left of center and are filled with self-righteous indignation, and they are scared. I’ve been mulling this over, trying to figure out why fear is such a big part of this and I have some ideas.

For one thing, the 18-25 age group has never consciously known any other administration than Barack Obama’s. They have no personal experience with a Constitutional president. They see the presidency as an absolute power and seem to think that Trump will just sail into the Oval Office and start wildly issuing near-Papal bulls outlawing birth control and locking up the LGBT crowd. They seem to think that he can, within days, pack the Supreme Court -– whether anyone resigns or not. 

It is true that he can rescind any of Obama’s holy decrees that he chooses, and when he chooses –- but that’s what we all elected him to do. He can, if he wants, send back to the states responsibilities that the federal government had previously absorbed, as per the 10th Amendment. It’s interesting that this seems to be scary to these young people; I suspect they’ve grown accustomed to thinking of the federal government as a deity of sorts and find the dissolution of that god frightening. 

They are really, really scared about global warming and Trump’s disdain for the concept. I noticed this fear years ago when I was still in the classroom. My colleagues were doing a bang-up job terrifying kids about this issue –- I read hundreds of papers (I was an English teacher) wherein students bemoaned the fate of the planet. Occasionally one would come flying into my classroom, breathless and shocked, asking if it was true that I didn’t believe in global warming. Well that chicken has come home to roost. How are we going to unteach all these well-drenched people that it was all nonsense to begin with? It’s easy to prove, but this will take much more than proof. 

They also seem to have no idea what danger the nation has been in for the last eight years. They should have been frightened then, very frightened. In fact, they seem to have no concern at all for our national entity. They care about themselves and their families, but not for the nation, and not for their freedom — in any sense other than their cherished license to climb into bed with whomever, whenever, sans consequences. 

They’ve been most thoroughly taught that there is no absolute truth, and no objective reality. Therefore, they have felt fine believing that their own made-up rules of behavior are valid and must be obeyed by everyone; that if they want socialism to work, it will; that white people are the cause of all problems; that human nature can be changed by banning words; that ISIS is okay and no danger to us; that their freedoms and prosperity will always, effortlessly go on forever; and, most importantly, that the Constitution is irrelevant.

Trump’s election poked a huge hole in that balloon and these kids hit the ground with a spine-cracking thud. They had actually believed the media and the polls. This is not their fault, however. They had believed their teachers, their parents, the culture at large. Their brains, despite being efficient and filled with all kinds of impressive expertise, are thoroughly saturated with the idea that all conservatives are, to quote a recent presidential candidate, “deplorable;” that what people say is more important than what they do; and that lying to achieve a properly leftist agenda is just fine. 

This election’s outcome has them pretty thoroughly discombobulated. It’s starting to dawn on them that all that fairytale stuff they’ve been stuffed with may not be true, a rough landing indeed. 

What’s made it even rougher is that our current commander-in-chief has spent the last eight years demonstrating that it’s okay to be intolerant of people with whom they disagree, showing them how to stick stubbornly to their own version of reality regardless of the facts, and how to keep on demanding what they have no right to demand. Being a leader involves not only the power to give orders and sign laws, but a leader’s very soul trickles down into the tiniest crevices, fills up the smallest capillaries, and if one didn’t know better, hadn’t seen other styles of leadership, one wouldn’t know that the example is bogus. 

At the beginning of my teaching career I taught in a small school whose principal, a kind, decent man, left in the middle of the year. Our new principal, who was quite different and suffered, I suspect, from an advanced case of paranoia, changed the tenor of the entire school within days. Students, who weren’t used to being treated like delinquents, started acting like they were. We teachers developed our own brand of paranoia — we learned quickly that the nicer he was to us, the more horrible his next move would be. 

Later that year, he disappeared. He told the superintendent that he was off to a conference and just never returned. Within days of his departure the school snapped back into its gentle, relaxed tenor and life returned to normal. 

I tell this story because I so hope that the same thing will happen in Washington. Donald Trump trusts the American people, even the deplorable, bitter clingers, to work hard, to support him, and we will, in turn, trust him to do what he promised. I don’t think it will take long for his realism to saturate everyday life. 

Whether our millennials will be able to grasp and apply this new paradigm I don’t know. It may be that’s what they’re afraid of — having to do that. It will be hard. They’ve not been taught to think in syllogisms, but rather in sound bites and lists of isms and ists. The history they’ve been taught is so fraught with untruth and innuendo that they don’t even have that to fall back on. And since some 80% of Christian students have their faith torn to shreds in college, they don’t have that anymore either. 

I, like everyone else, am really tired of being labeled and disparaged by people younger than my grandchildren. I’m exhausted from trying to reason with folks who don’t have any sense of actual morality or logic — it’s okay for my candidate to do this, but when yours merely says it — horror upon horrors. But I’m also aware that these bright young people have been sold a bill of goods that our generation paid for. 

I started complaining about what the schools were doing to kids 40 years ago and it got me nowhere. I started teaching myself, argued with my colleagues and ultimately closed my classroom door and tried my best to teach clear thinking. With a few I succeeded. So, I’m not sure what else we could have done, but I do know that it is not the fault of these kids. As they bind up their wounds and whine and cry and throw fits I’m going to try to remember that this is where liberalism, where leftist, socialist thinking has led us — to a generation that can do nothing to cope but paint misspelled signs and scream about fascism — a word that to them means nothing. 

Deana Chadwell blogs at www.ASingleWindow.com. She is also an adjunct professor at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. She teaches writing and public speaking. 

Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • Brad Jamison says:

    I’m not afraid of Trump or his policies. Nor do I think he is a constitutionalist. If he repeals the Patriot Act provisions and mass surveillance and drone kills, just for starters, I would stand with my mouth down to my knees. But one look at his cabinet says it all. It’s going to be man the torpedoes. What is frightening is that an idiot megalomaniac is given all the unconstitutional Presidential powers created by Obama AND Bush. [The ugly sentences were edited out of this comment.]

  • farang says:

    All correct, but let’s not forget it was just a part of a plan to overthrow sovereignty of nations, to create “border-less lands” where the “Globalists” set the agenda. The MSM liars assisted, DOD was placing propaganda into sporting events, and Boabama & crew legalized, weaponized propaganda upon the people. And all with the willing assistance of both houses of congress.

    There can only be one term, one label for the “authorities” urging mass migration into their nations: Traitors opening the gates. Enemies from within.

    So what to do? Teach. Calmly, rationally, educate. Homeschool. If retired, ask to read to your grandkids, the Classics. Teach them well. And smile calmly, and ignore those Traitors within, while working diligently to counter their Wormtongue spewings. Optimistically, I do see more and more eyes opening, and that is because those of us willing to be hacked, gangstalked and blacklisted love our Constitution enough to stand up to these mentally-ill vermin, are making a difference…through educating the people…rationally, calmly and tirelessly.

  • What a remarkably foolish presentation!

    • raysongtree says:

      Your comment does not educate the reader. Perhaps she is two generations ahead of you and sees something you can’t imagine. Read it again and try to understand what she sees.

  • Mr. Blair M. Phillips says:

    As they bind up their wounds and whine and cry and throw fits I’m going to try to remember that this is where liberalism, where leftist, socialist thinking has led us — to a generation that can do nothing to cope but paint misspelled signs and scream about fascism — a word that to them means nothing.

    What’s the matter with socialism? Nothing….Cuban socialism is looking pretty good in my opinion. https://vimeo.com/161490133 …Canadian democratic socialism looks pretty good too.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhy8haC-6v0 and there’s no problem with Anarchy either…ever read the booklet…. Kibbutz – The Story of Givath-Brenner…citizen owned, citizen decision making, citizen worked…I like it.

  • Jill Fuller says:

    Thank you, Deana. Well said, indeed—both appropriately critical and appropriately hopeful.

  • Michele Lyon'Brown says:

    I am in league with all that you have presented in this article.
    I also have mentioned to people that the path that we have trodden over so many decades began with tolerance. We have tolerated the intolerable in the effort to incorporate inclusiveness.

    For decades what we celebrated within this nation was being the melting pot of the world. When new migrants came here most of them settled within communities or neighborhoods comprised of those similar nationals or cultures from wherein they had originated. Eventually having attended schools comprised of neighboring neighborhoods and entering the job market after graduation they mixed more and more and acquired friends outside of the narrower confines of isolated groups . Many married outside of their original culture into families who had been here for years and they developed identities more akin to adopting some of the essential American culture and ideology of the times or locales they inhabited. We often incorporated some or more of what they brought from their former cultures and it became part of America or American.

    This is not happening very much presently. There is a strong resistance to this very concept. We are Balkanized and becoming more so which is tearing the very warp and weft of the fabric which formerly incorporated the above and so much more and now is being insistently denied and shredded with no intention of mending it.

    Both sides of the aisle have been instrumental in doing this. The millennia old lie that mankind can fix everything if only we let those who have intentionally been after this goal since the beginning of time can have this one world system. Every moral and ethical and time tried way of conduct and observance of right and wrong has been nearly successfully destroyed in our present day generation of young people. They are absent critical thinking, judgment and morality. They confuse our Constitution guaranteeing all equal opportunity with all, whether qualified or not, being given the same job or task and receiving the same remuneration.

    Isn’t anyone out there in academia addressing the facts of showing how the former Old World rulers used similar tactics to effect control over the little people How they divided and conquered through lies, deception and creating dependence upon their systems for meager survival but not freedom to succeed or fail on your own merits?

    Sorry to ramble. As you can see I could not teach my way out of a paper bag. I am grateful when such postings as yours are offered, however.

    With gratitude,


    P.S. You might find this book relevant in some manner, “The People’s Warrior”, as if fully implemented by those who teach on certain necessary historical subjects archived documents would be more readily available for real history on any subject to be provided by our government instead of thwarting that every chance they get making real information difficult to impossible for that purpose.

  • abinico warez says:

    This election was very simple choice – WW3 now or a little later.

  • Gregg Lavoie says:

    Great comment by Farang and many good point by Deana in the article. Education is one of if not the most important focal point of any society. Good, truthful teachings for both native born citizens as well as immigrants. However, the problem is that the government(well actually the fascists who control the government) is controlling 99% of the teaching that is being done, and that teaching is all slanted (as Deana said). So the government is brainwashing millions of students while people like Deana may impact a few hundred. The odds are too slanted. Home schooling is not going to work either because most are not capable of it and do not have the time because we live in a time where both parents must work for the family to survive. The only viable solution is to force the government to return schooling curriculum to facts not propaganda. Teach the young about the control of banks over people and society. Teach them about fascism, oligarchies and tell them the truth about corrupt politicians throughout the history of our country. Teach them how Presidents have over stepped their bounds and Congress has cowered from their responsibilities. If the people do not demand truthful and important social and historical schooling, every generation will slide further into the abyss!

  • Maureen says:

    Such great insight. It’s helpful to step into their shoes and realize what they have been working with to sort things out intellectually. Thanks for posting!

  • williamsir says:

    I’ve been around for 62 years. I have had the honor of enjoying a more free society and loath the present chains I see placed on our kids feet. The chains that our present kids do not see. They have been acclimated to the new world and don’t realize how tightly their own minds have been bound and controlled. It has been frightening to realize how easy it was for the leaders to do such a thing. We call it brainwashing.
    I am from another world than these kids. I am an old man that sputters such crazy words like unity, freedom, liberty, choices, privacy, honor, respect, appreciation, loyalty, a handshake a bond, my word is gold, and love above hate. I know many people, yet have few real friends- they have passed.
    If I may, I would like to express what I really think; Today’s people are becoming just plain stupid.
    The young do not want to listen to any wisdom I have learned in these years. I am glad I won’t be around to have to acclimate to the future if it stays on it’s present course.
    Do you know we actually respected cops? Mostly because they showed us respect.
    Do you know that we once had an effect on the government? They actually feared the peoples powers.
    Do you know people actually respected their neighbors enough to help them and to watch after each other?
    Do you know when I was in elementary school, all the boys carried pocket knives? They weren’t weapons- they were tools.
    Do you know when we got into a fistfight, you might become best friends afterwords? There was no revenge- if you lost, you lost.
    Do you know we said “Yes Sir” and “Thank You”? It never hurt us one bit.
    Do you know we dressed well in public?
    Do you know we spoke English well? We took the time to learn it it properly.
    Do you know it was ok to believe in God and Jesus and say Merry Christmas and prayer was protected? Because you had the right to believe what you wanted openly.

    Do you know “They” want to take all that away from you because “They” want you to believe in “Them” only?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com