It is easy for me, now 25, to imagine what a twenty-something forty years ago must have been feeling. Concern over a war raging abroad, dire economic conditions at home, and the role of government in a young person’s life always lingering.
The U.S. was undergoing a societal, political, and cultural transformation during which the baby boomers, the young generation of the day, were at ground zero. Unhappy with the "establishment" and "the man" to whom they held responsible for their woes, they started a movement.
With so many parallels to choose from in the problems facing our generation, we too should hold to account the powers that be. The disaffected youth of today need to open their eyes to see the "establishment" and "the man" that looms over them.
An immense government and vast bureaucracy with unprecedented power, the likes of which this country has never seen. A powerful elite in a distant capital making decisions that infringe on our liberties and freedoms with a "we know best" attitude. Encroachment into our lives by "the man" lies around every corner. And, roughly 40 appointed "czars" in this administration, with their tentacles in the cars we drive, the banks we trust, the energy we consume, and most recently that very private aspect of our lives, our health. Yes, I think we can appropriately call this administration "the man."
To our nation's benefit, this assault on the American way of life has not gone unchallenged. In the past six months we have seen a segment of the American people rise up. From tea parties to town hall-ers, a peaceful and effective movement has taken shape to challenge President Obama and the establishment. Indeed, this mobilization of protesters and grassroots political activists is the conservative's long-awaited response to an indifferent government on the march towards socialism.
Unfortunately, we are still lacking an essential component to achieving a full-fledged movement in America. That missing component is our youth. Whether or not we approve or lament of our parents' struggle decades ago against the powers that be, we would not argue over their significance and effectiveness.
The main stream media has characterized the "anti-establishment" movement of today not by its message or agenda like its predecessors, but by the supposed "backward" segment of America who are the driving force behind it. Town hall-ers and those showing up at tea parties are defamed as a rural, loony, and a most likely racist segment of American society.
In a situation teeming with irony, the liberal media exercises its own political profiling on those that outwardly oppose the policies of this President and his administration.
Our youth, however, have the ability to be loud, unhinged, and ardent in their beliefs without being easily discredited, slandered, or profiled. The relative "innocence" of youth lends a movement credibility against its critics. Consider that it would be hard for even the mainstream media to challenge a modern youth movement opposing the "establishment" that we have defined, as they might be reverberating the same slogans and concepts accepted by the media of their parents' generation.
What greater moment does our nation's youth need to challenge the "establishment" than right now? Unlike any other generation, we are one whose basic liberties, freedoms, and future are poised to be infringed upon by a few in Washington who think they know best. As one of our nation's founding fathers, Patrick Henry, aptly put it, "When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sir, was the primary object."