Over the past 5 or so years, I’ve seen this country deteriorate socially so much that I’ve been seriously contemplating moving after I graduate. I talked with my mom about this and she brought up the point that I’ve only actually lived through 1 presidency – Bush. In addition to that, the right-wing conservatives essentially control all three branches of government – executive, legislative and judicial. She said that, hopefully, this will change in the near future.
Look at the significant issues the conservatives have been able to control in the past few years, all which have either had an immediate impact on us (like potentially killing us) or will have an impact on us in the future:
they send a younger generation to an unjust war, against the wishes of the rest of the world and, I believe, the younger generation as well
they essentially ban stem cell research for many years to come, effectively putting a stop to a very promising line of research that could likely cure many diseases in the future ( OUR future)
they have yet to fix social security, which will almost certainly dry up by the time we, the younger generation, are ready to collect
education costs have gone through the roof in the past few years
medical and health insurance costs have also gone through the roof
the first bill Bush vetoed in his time in office was a bill to allow the use of leftover in-vitro fertilization eggs for research purposes (again, stem cell related) (absolutely ridiculous!)
they single-handedly let Israel destroy Lebanon for a week, without punishment and much to most American’s dismay
And now, they are trying to take away our right to play a game that we enjoy – based on *THEIR* morals. The game of online poker is a game dominated by those in the younger generations. Unfortunately, we do not speak up when we’re being trampled on. Time and time again, our values and beliefs and preferences are being cast aside for the values and beliefs of the older generations – specifically right-wing conservatives. If you don’t see this being the case, then I believe you’re not paying attention ( Frist's Article to Southern Baptists ) . So now we must ask the following questions: Why has this happened? Do we want to change it? If so, how can we change it?
I’m quite sick of being run by the right-wing conservatives in this country. I honestly believe that this is not at all representative of the US as a whole. I really don’t think that the US believes in half the [censored] that our government does. Here’s the truth:
The government caters to those with loud voices. It caters to those who vote and to those who make their stances known. Now who are these people that the government caters to? Either people with strong motive to make their voices heard or people who naturally congregate into herds: religious nuts, business-motivated lobbyists, unions…
Perhaps a better question would be, who does the government *not* cater to? It doesn’t cater to people who individually believe in something.
Let me give an example: let A be some social concern. Let’s say 50 million Americans believe in A . Which is more powerful, if 50 million Americans quietly and individually believe in A or if 50 million Americans, all living in New York City, believe in A and make it known that they all believe in A ? Obviously, the latter is more powerful. Why? Power in numbers. It is much better to have a single voice of 50 million speak out and say “we believe in A ” than it is to have 50 million individuals believe in it, each quietly saying “I believe in A ”.
As unfortunate as it may be, the younger generation falls into this trap of being a set of X million individuals who all believe in something but are not united enough for their voices to be heard. Consider this:
Quote: As a group, America's young people haven't shown much interest in the ballot box. (Only 36 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds voted in the 2000 election, compared with 60 percent among all those of voting age, according to the Census.) They've been called slackers, apathetic, politically detached. – Seattle Times
Perhaps we can be called slackers, but I don’t believe we’re apathetic or politically detached. We know full-well what’s going on in our country. Simply look at this forum in the past few days – something like 1700 people were viewing this thread only a few days ago! Clearly, we’re not being properly represented in our government. The reason is simple: we’re not being heard. How many senators are over the age of 60? I believe that it would be difficult for a 60 year old to understand the concerns of a 20 year old…yet we’re being represented by them!
The reason for the gambling ban is because the average American either a) didn’t care or b) was strongly against it morally. At no point were * OUR * concerns taken into consideration. The voices of those that directly affect US politics (because they vote) were listened to above us, even though we’re the only ones the bill directly affects.
I see right-wing conservatives as a herd of people who get what they want by numbers. I see the liberals as a series of individuals. Unfortunately, the herd wins out. So what can we do to stop this? I’m not quite sure because this is a law of social structures – groups are more powerful than even the most powerful individual.
All I can say is this, we’re being grossly misrepresented in Congress and in our government and something needs to be done about it. Politicians don’t care about the younger generation because we don’t vote! Why do you think politicians cater to the elderly? They [censored] vote! Now that we’ve seen that politics *CAN* affect our lives directly, we should see this as a wake-up call. I leave you with a few quotes:
Quote: Law in origin was merely a codification of the power of dominant groups, and did not aim at anything that to a modern man would appear to be justice – Bertrand Russell
Quote: I realize everyone wants this tide to be turned and in my view, now is the most effective time to get organized for our future battles. People are angry, alerted and ready to get involved...Individuals should immediately register to vote and make themselves aware of issues important to themselves. Then vote accordingly. – Berge
Younger generation - let our voices be heard, for once!