And the Political Generation Is . . . ?
There are people in this country who do not have a voice or national presence. They are getting ready for the responsibilities that will soon be theirs. They are not quoted by reporters, not discussed by employers. Every day brings them closer to the inevitable, when the world will be theirs. They are watching. If we listen we can hear them.
Kindergartener: “What will happen to people left at Donald Trump’s wall? They’ll get cold.”
Fourth grader: “The difference between climate and weather is that climate is longterm and weather is what’s happening now. The climate is getting warmer because so many people are polluting the air.”
And now a high schooler: “If the adults won’t change gun control laws, our generation will.”
My God, how much trouble are we leaving this generation of children? Not in recent memory has one generation been saddled with so much before leaving high school. They KNOW they’ll have to clean the environment, they KNOW there will be long-term fallout from this presidency, and 18 times this year, as of February 15, they know that they are being shot at school. The walls of school are not safe, the climate is not safe, and the government is not safe.
And our generations have created it all. We voted in the administration, we pollute every day, happy for warm days in January, and at best shrug our shoulders about gun control. Sure we complain, but as a neighbor said to me, “What can we do about it?” She didn’t actually want an answer; she walked away when it looked like I might respond.
These children will have to clean up all of our choices: we the Boomers, Gen X, even the Millennials. It doesn’t matter if our generations didn’t create the problems. We all need to show up and do everything we can to stop these problems. We must do more.
This generation born after 2000 cannot solve everything. At this point, it looks like they’ll have to. They’re the ones dying from gunshot wounds, they’re the ones who will see Cape Cod swallowed by rising seas, and they’re the ones who will inherit an impossible national debt with paltry social safety nets.
This generation talks about these topics every day. I hear their comments. They accept the problems as fact because they see fallout from the issues every day. They are learning to read by reading news and this IS the news. It’s all they know. From the way they’re talking, they may be up for undoing the damage done by us older generations. If we do nothing, they’ll have no choice but to try. Please, let’s take some of this off of their shoulders. Let’s be loud and involved and make this a world we’re proud of. We owe the kids that much.
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