- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 19, 2019

Make way for an even bigger, more bloated government.

Pew Research Center on Social & Demographic Trends has a new survey that shows Generation Zers, like the Millennials they follow in years, believe government — not the individual, not the private sector — is the better avenue to handle societal ills and solve national problems.

That’s a dramatic departure from what Founders envisioned and what our founding documents state, and for that we should blame the public school systems.

Schools, for a large part, have simply stopped teaching the Constitution. The public education system, fearful of being perceived as intolerant or unfair to other cultures and demographics, no longer honors the historical code of American Exceptionalism.

Teachers and textbooks tend nowadays to focus more on social justice and explaining how America’s just one of a host of nations, all morally equivalent, none deserving of any sort of special regard.

Even those public educations who do still teach the Constitution oftentimes do more harm than good. Founders are presented as racist white men with antiquated views, as little more than slaveholders who wove their pro-slavery views into the documents that created America’s government. So, by logical extension, you know what that means, don’t you? That means America’s founding documents themselves must be racist.

That means America, at its root, must be a racist nation.

And that means reform is needed — which is probably why America now has people like Beto O’Rourke questioning, with all seriousness, if the Constitution still works. The younger generations, apparently, wonder the same.

“On a range of issues, from Donald Trump’s presidency to the role of government to racial equality and climate change, the views of Gen Z — those ages 13 to 21 in 2018 — mirror those of Millennials,” Pew reported. “Seven-in-ten Gen Zers say the government should do more to solve problems in this country, while just 29% say the government is doing too many things that are better left to individuals and businesses.”

Even Gen Zers who say they’re Republican believe in the Big Government concept.

“Roughly half (52%) of Gen Z Republicans say they think the government should be doing more to solve problems,” Pew wrote. “Among Democrats … [r]oughly eight-in-ten Gen Z (81%) and Millennial Democrats (79%) say the government should do more to solve problems.”

Moreover, the global-first, sovereign-second style of teaching that runs as a theme through much of today’s publicly taught history and civics classes is having an effect.

“While pluralities of nearly all generations (with the exception of the Silent Generation) say the U.S. is one of the best countries in the world along with some others, Gen Zers and Millennials are the least likely to say the U.S. is better than all other countries,” Pew reported. “Only 14% and 13%, respectively, hold this view.”

What a sad, sorry statistic that is.

This one’s just as sad and sorry: Another three-in-ten Gen Zers and Millennials name other countries as greater than America.

For patriotic types who believe in the founders’ visions of limited governance and in the general theme of American Exceptionalism, this Pew report seems dismal and dark, to say the least. But there is a spot of light — and it goes like this: What 13-year-old doesn’t believe in “can’t we all just get along” governments?

It’s frequently when the kids grow and get out in the world and face real-world problems with real-world consequences that they start having second thoughts about liberalism — that they start to leave behind their liberal la-la land views.

That’s when they notice the price tag for the Big Government solutions they so casually embraced during childhood.

That’s when they learn, hey, maybe government can’t solve everything, maybe some of this stuff better belongs in the hands of the private sector, or individual.

So, yes, Pew’s findings, at least for the limited government types, might seem on surface a bit disheartening. But let the Gen Zers have their Big Government ideals — for now. Life has a way of teaching truths and realities that even schools can’t rival.

Truly, today’s dreamy-eyed Gen Zers, after a few years in the workforce, could very well become tomorrow’s tea party activists.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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