The 1968 riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago remain vivid in my mind, as do so many marches and demonstrations by young people of that era, primarily protesting the Vietnam War and demanding civil rights for all.
Young Americans were politically naive in 1960 but at least willing to be engaged. Although I remember the various protests and marches, I was either squirrel hunting or putting a sharp edge on my sonic guitar-slaying skills, having not awakened to my “we the people” duties quite yet. Regrettably, I knew nothing about politics and, sadly, little of our nation’s history.
Now, being somewhat of a novice history nut and having lived through the howling political, musical and countercultural winds of the 1960s, I can view these various events and activities through a clear lens that was never clouded with the purple haze of dope. Yes, I can remember the 1960s, and I was there.
All of this makes me think about today’s generation of young people - especially college-age Americans.
While I personally condemn violence of any kind, I am stunned that they are not participating more in the Tea Party, even rioting in the streets, clashing with the cops, conducting sit-ins at their colleges, interrupting political events and so on. Instead, the young people of this generation appear to be sound asleep, lethargic and seemingly unaware of how badly their generation is being royally abused by the deep-seated corruption and abuse of power in the government. They appear to be terminally stoned on apathy.
More than likely, this generation of young Americans will be the first in our nation’s history not to enjoy a standard of living greater than their parents’. This alone should be cause for a massive mob of angry young people marching on Washington.
The monumental debt we are leaving this generation is grossly immoral, irresponsible and un-American. And the debt continues to rise. I doubt most young Americans are aware that this financial burden will strangle economic opportunities for them. Because of the sheer size of the debt, maybe young Americans can’t comprehend that their individual share of the national debt is more than $500,000 when all of it is factored into the equation. Who could realistically fault them for protesting this insane debt tsunami?
Many young college graduates are moving back in with their parents because of limited job opportunities. That should send a clear warning to them that all is not well - not well at all. They would be wise to spend some time researching why this is so.
This generation of young people probably cannot remember a time when America was not at war. As much as I believe the voodoo enemies of America need to be vanquished from the planet, the endless protracted wars we are embroiled in are tremendously expensive in both blood and treasure. If we are going to commit our brave warriors to the battlefield, we should implement total war and break the will of the enemy and all who harbor enemy actors. We have the weapons, warriors and technology to wreck everything. Do it or stay home. Where are the massive Internet flash-mob protests by young Americans against these protracted wars?
Except for the superior human beings who volunteer for U.S. military service, I am not impressed with this generation. They are being led to their own slaughter and are blindly following along instead of fighting for their own survival. Text or twitter that, Millennials.
Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).