Growing up in the sixties and seventies, it was common to see masses of people marching in protest. There were the civil rights marches, the anti-Vietnam protests and even protests calling for the impeachment and/or resignation of the president.
There were even demonstrations by women at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, NJ, 50 years ago this month with women burning their bras to protest the sexism they saw in that all-American event with its long and hallowed traditions.
These protests were largely organized by younger Americans who sought to change a wrong inflicted on them by an earlier generation. Each of these movements eventually achieved their desired results.
So, why aren’t more people taking to the streets today in protest of the abhorrent policies and outrageous comments made by President Donald Trump and his administration? Where are the young people of today, and where is their outrage?
True, there have been some protests, such as this past March when a March for Our Livesrally was held nationwide to seek an end to the epidemic of gun violence in our country. With politicians, particularly those on the right, firmly in the pockets of the National Rifle Association, there is still little being done to halt the endless proliferation of firearms.
However, it’s the silence on so many other issues that is troubling.
Children in cages, catering to dictators, election interference, global warming and an undisciplined Oval Office that uses social media to bully and intimidate critics all should be causes for mass protests; yet the younger generation refuses to take action, and, in fact, acts as if nothing is happening.
We have a generation mired in political apathy. While this is not true of every young person, my fellow blogger Helen Bass, for example, it seems to be the norm for a majority of the younger generation, with their heads constantly stuck in their I-phones and taking selfies to post on Instagram? They seem more interested in swallowing Tide Pods, licking ice cream or becoming the next YouTube or reality star.
What will it take to motivate them?
Tragically, the nationalism that permeates our present society and the dangers to our freedoms that are threatened by a president who would be dictator or king, does not appear to be enough. Sadly, it mostly like will take another cataclysm, such as 9/11, which saw a tremendous upsurge in patriotism across our nation and across generations.
Such an event might finally shock these young people, this “Me Generation,” into action. Actually, cellphones are a great tool to help organize rallies and protests, to send messages to your congressman and senators, to actually do something worthwhile.