Sigh

Yesterday at work the radio was on. An earnest young lady was extolling the wonders of how Mr. Obama could make a treaty without the approval of the Senate. The host was either neutral or mildly in favor.

A twenty year-old at work asked what they were talking about. I told her.

“Is that good or bad?”

“The President may be trying to rule without Congress.”

“Is that good or bad?”

It depends. Do you believe in democracy?”

“Should I?”

I breathed deeply and tried to think charitable thoughts.

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3 comments on “Sigh

  1. Dan says:

    Your 20 year old young lady has grown up during a time when we have had a much more limited democracy, and that which we have had, has been less than a stellar example. While I won’t say it has been similar to FDR’s terms, for he was far more effective and charismatic than either Bush or Obama, there are some similarities. Today’s younger generation has known mostly war, heavy handed government and a divided leadership. The technologically oriented among them see something akin to Orwell’s 1984. Democracy needs a new example, a new shining light, to chase away the shadows cast by the last 10 years or so.

  2. AMB says:

    Although many young people today are disengaged with politics, nearly every single one of them I’ve talked to has at least believed in basic American values, like freedom, equality, and democracy.

    It’s one thing to be unfamiliar with current political affairs, but to not understand the importance of such a fundamental principle is quite another.

    The concept of democracy is not only pushed by both liberals and conservatives; it is actually promoted in schools starting in 3rd grade (or is it? it was for me at least)! Therefore, her question really shocks me.

    I don’t think her view is representative of most young people, who tend to value at least basic American principles, but it is still alarming.

  3. Dan says:

    The concept of a democracy might still be pushed, though I don’t know in what form, anymore. The reality of such, is quite different, and I think the younger ones have taken exceptional notice of that. They grew up being told what to do, how to think, what was right and wrong and watched the polar opposites fight over who was right. They’ve watched as their government has repeatedly ignored the will of the people, ridiculed those who protested(occupy wall street, iraq/afghanistan war) and played big brother in a fashion not far from 1984. Democracy as a concept, sure, but not as a substantiated proof.

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