Green Room

Confessions of an “Ignorant” College Student

posted at 4:46 pm on June 4, 2012 by

“It is a simple fact of science that nothing correlates more with ignorance and stupidity more than youth. We’re all born idiots, and we only get over that condition as we get less young.” Jonah Goldberg, May 2012

            Goldberg continued, claiming that young people are “so frickin’ stupid about some things.” Many people in my generation (I’m currently 21 days shy of my 21st birthday) were immediately offended by that statement. I can certainly see their point. Being called “frickin’ stupid” isn’t really the highlight of one’s day. However, I can’t help but agree with Mr. Goldberg. Yet, I’m more inclined to use “ignorant” rather than “stupid.” Twenty-somethings are far too often motivated by feelings, not fact. We’re caught up in a state of blissful ignorance, a state few proactively try to escape. A large majority of my generation, therefore, remains ignorant and easily swept up by our pleasure-seeking, morally corrupt, liberalized culture.

I don’t mean to say that I have escaped the youthful curse of ignorance. I’ll admit, I’m just as ignorant as many of my peers. However, there’s a difference between acknowledging your own ignorance and accepting it as reality. I accept the fact that 20 years is not enough to learn everything the world has to teach me. Heck, 70 years isn’t even enough. I accept the fact that I’m still naïve and time is the only cure. However, I try to educate myself as much as possible to counteract my own shortcomings. Yet, I can’t say that many people my age have gotten past the “I’m invincible and know everything” stage. I only know that because I’m guilty of such a mindset from time to time. This is exactly what Jonah Goldberg was talking about. For example, too many young people today are inclined to support socialism or Marxism over capitalism because it “feels good.” They’re wrapped up in the meaningless fluff words like “social justice” and “inclusion.” Few people in my generation move beyond superficial emotions. We’re inclined to believe the liberal capitalism-hating culture around us and rarely take a second look at ourselves.

Similarly, we are very capable of being swept up by the culture all around us. Far too many students are liberalized and good morals are all but forgotten For example, last night I was flipping through the channels and stumbled across the MTV Movie Awards. After being bombarded with raunchy humor, several bleeped expletives and drug-promoting, women-bashing rap music, I had to turn the channel. And yes, to answer your question, I am twenty going on thirty-five. However, a large segment of my age group is swept up by this dangerous culture and our morals are going down the tubes. It’s no wonder that “YOLO” (For those of you who have been living under a rock, that stands for “You Only Live Once”) has become a common phrase in recent days. I know it’s natural for young people to be reckless and stupid; sometimes we have to learn lessons the hard way. Yet, it’s important to realize that this country’s future stands on our shoulders. If we’re going to save the republic, my generation needs a large heaping of character and common sense.

It’s no surprise that politicians scramble for the youth vote. Far too many people my age are swept up by the liberal, emotional culture all around us. We’re enthralled by the countless celebrities who support liberal policies instead of agreeing with the educated opinions of those who have been in the “real world” for years. We’re a big voting bloc because we can be easily swayed by something shiny and new. Stick a celebrity in a political ad and we’re sold. We’re more inclined to follow what we feel rather than what we know. Now when I say “we,” I mean the majority of young people. There are a few of us in the trenches fighting for our nation and accepting the reality around us. However, we are currently in the minority.

Perhaps I’m coming across as cynical. That’s probably because I am cynical about my generation. I’m frustrated because I see the seemingly insatiable stupidity that rages all around me. How many college students plan on voting for Obama just because Carrie Bradshaw told them to do so? How many actually fell for the feel-good “hope and change?” I too am young. Reagan was out of office before I was even born. I was actually feeling old because I remember using floppy discs and cassette tapes (*shudder*). However, I may be young but it doesn’t take years to acknowledge the turmoil our nation is in right now. My generation will be hit the hardest. We can kiss the idea of receive Social Security checks goodbye. We’ll be the ones who have to pay for President Obama’s reckless spending. We should be the generation that cares the most. Too bad many of us don’t take time to exercise our common sense and foresight. Our nation is in a tough spot. The generation that needs to be the most active is mostly too ignorant to remain proactively vigilant. Sure, it’s a fact of life that young people are usually blissfully ignorant. It has been like that for generations. However, we simply can’t afford to wait for this generation to mature. I urge my fellow young people to snap out of it. Follow reality, not Rhianna. Get your act together. America needs us now more than ever.

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Very good. Sharing far and wide. ~ RD

RumblinDurango on June 4, 2012 at 4:53 PM

We do not blame your generation. If you are under 25 and not a young and ignorant idealist, then you are Alex P Keaton(look it up young people). We do not blame the “Greatest Generation” because they were lied to. They believed in the goodness of government because, hey, the government won the war and “ended the depression” (said with tongue-firmly-in-cheek). Most women were lost at the idea of “conquering poverty” and unless you were Archie Bunker you were going to cut the ideas of FDR and progressives some slack.
I place the blame squarely on the pot-smoking,sex crazed, don’t-give-a-sh-t-about-anything-but-my-own-pleasure baby boomer generation of those between 55-70 who should have known better. The Boomers had all the advantages of a relatively stable economic condition in the 50′s and 60′s compared to generations past, yet threw the whole damn baby-out-with-the-bathwater. What remains are the 40 year old men and women with young children and some semblance of what America was supposed to represent to figure out how to pay off a friggin 16,000 billion dollar debt with another 70,000 billion on the horizon without destroying our society. You’re way ahead of the curve Amy, congrats.

DrRich on June 4, 2012 at 5:28 PM

good post, and yes you are 20 going on 35. hopefully you’ll avoid the bad decisions that most 20 somethings have to learn from

burserker on June 4, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Nicely said. But your generation isn’t the worst. I’m 53, and my generation was the one that glorified stupidity, hedonism and ignorance. Ok, I was just a little young for the flower-power nonsense, but I still felt all alone in my excitement and relief when, at right around your age, one Mr. R.W. Reagan was elected POTUS. My peers were, for the most part, convinced he was the devil incarnate, despite their astonishing inability to articulate just why they thought that true. Yet they were proud of their ignorance, wearing it as a badge of honor.

My daughter is but a few years older than you are. She and her friends and acquaintances are sincere, thoughtful and hard-working. I feel horrible that my generation has left them (and you) such a mess, all for the worship of self and the pursuit of instant gratification.

It is up to your generation to try to build on what little we have left you — institutions ruined and rife with corruption, culture debased and diseased, an unreliable currency and a dangerous world — and to learn from the foolishness of my generation: selfishness and the willing to sacrifice all on the altar of selfish ambition will never end well.

Sorry. I truly am.

mr.blacksheep on June 4, 2012 at 5:51 PM

We’re enthralled by the countless celebrities who support liberal policies instead of agreeing with the educated opinions of those who have been in the “real world” for years.

Don’t worry. You’ll notice that as you get older, your parents get smarter.

BobMbx on June 4, 2012 at 5:57 PM

You know, you just might amount to something some day.

Good luck

A 67 year old, retired military VN War Vet.

Linh_My on June 4, 2012 at 6:11 PM

21-year old college student here. I feel your pain–our generation disappoints/disgusts me.

Mr. Prodigy on June 4, 2012 at 6:33 PM

I place the blame squarely on the pot-smoking,sex crazed, don’t-give-a-sh-t-about-anything-but-my-own-pleasure baby boomer generation of those between 55-70 who should have known better.

DrRich on June 4, 2012 at 5:28 PM

The boomers certainly share in the blame, but a lot of us boomers did not participate. We enlisted in the military, went to Vietnam, came home and went to work. I blame the “adults in the room” during the 60s. The college administrators that gave in to the radicals, the politicians that would sell their first born to get re-elected, the silent majority, our parents who won the war, then came home and went promptly to sleep. They were the adults during those turbulent times, they knew better than their children and yet, they did nothing. Greatest Generation, my eye! They had little choice in what they did during the war years, it was just their normal. But having done that, they abdicated their responsibilities.

SpiderMike on June 4, 2012 at 6:38 PM

I place the blame squarely on the pot-smoking,sex crazed, don’t-give-a-sh-t-about-anything-but-my-own-pleasure baby boomer generation of those between 55-70 who should have known better. The Boomers had all the advantages of a relatively stable economic condition in the 50′s and 60′s compared to generations past, yet threw the whole damn baby-out-with-the-bathwater.

As a cutting edge boomer (born in ’48) I have to throw some of the blame back on my prents’ generation, the Greatest Generation. The Greatest Generation suffered poverty (the Great Depression) and war (WW II), and they came out of those with one idea: Their kids were not going to suffer the way they did. There was a booming economy in the 50s and the Greatest Generation mad a big mistake. They were thrifty and financially careful about everything except their kids. Thanks to either my grandparents, my parents or my extended family, I was the recipient of enough toys,clothing, ice cream and anything else you can think of to satisfy half-a-dozen kids — and I wasn’t the worst! I knew lots of other kids who had a whole lot more than I could ever dream of because their fathers fought in WW II, took advantage of the GI Bill and became the first in their families to join the ranks of middle management or better. They splurged. They splurged on us. Then they left us the estates they had very carefully built over the years. It was — and still is — one of the greatest wealth transfers in the history of the world.

That said, yes, we of the Baby Boom created one mell of a hess back in the 60s and 70s. Many of us eventually came to our senses and became Yuppies. But too many of us chose to remain in the drug- and alcohol-fuddled coccoons of our late teens and early 20s.

I have four kids and three grandkids. I am afraid of the America they are inheriting.

Amy, best of luck to you. I wish we Boomers had done a better job of stewardship instead of turning on, tuning in and dropping out.

catsandbooks on June 4, 2012 at 6:48 PM

The older you get the more cynical you’ll become….
Even my generation (29-30) voted for Obama because it was the ‘cool’ thing to do.

nazo311 on June 4, 2012 at 11:00 PM

I suspect every generation is more or less just as stupid/ignorant as the one before it, but in the past 100 years or so two things have happened to make the stupidity/ignorance of young people particularly toxic to society:

First, democracy. Young people have become engaged in a process that they are ill-equipped to make a positive contribution to. Ancient societies revered “elders” not because they were old, but because their age and consequent experience mean they were the people most likely to make a good decision, least likely to advocate a foolish course of action. Democracy tends to redistribute decision-making to less experienced people, and then encourages those decision-makers to pander to the desires of an even less-experienced electorate.

Second, technology. Even 100 years ago, the follies of youth were more easily contained within a family or village or small region. This was true because of the lack of communication and because everybody, youth included, had to work more. Technology has given people more time for idle folly, and the tools to spread it more widely.

Of course these two factors don’t apply only to younger people nor are they always toxic. These factors apply to everybody, but the greatest power boost is given to the people who are most volatile and least able to use power wisely thus the whole of society is nudged towards greater foolishness.

YiZhangZhe on June 5, 2012 at 6:28 AM

Amy – Great piece. You should be proud of the smart woman you’ve become.

Don’t worry. You’ll notice that as you get older, your parents get smarter.

BobMbx on June 4, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Bob – I called my mother a few years ago just to say, “Mom, you’re a geeeenius. I mean it. I used to think you were dumber than $#!+, but now I realize you’re a genius. I’m sorry I was stupid.”

Laura in Maryland on June 5, 2012 at 9:13 AM

It has often been said:

If you’re not a liberal in your 20′s, you don’t have a heart.

If you’re not a conservative in your 40′s, you don’t have a brain.

MR. ARIZONA on June 5, 2012 at 9:25 AM

It has often been said:

If you’re not a liberal in your 20′s, you don’t have a heart.

If you’re not a conservative in your 40′s, you don’t have a brain.

MR. ARIZONA on June 5, 2012 at 9:25 AM

I always hated that saying .. because I was a conservative in my 20s and I assure you I had a big heart! I was just smarter than my peers ;)

CityFish on June 5, 2012 at 10:06 AM

MR. ARIZONA on June 5, 2012 at 9:25 AM

I’m about as backwards to that as can be…I was hardcore conservative in my teen years.

MelonCollie on June 5, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Sure, it’s a fact of life that young people are usually blissfully ignorant. It has been like that for generations.

No Amy dear, it hasn’t been like that for generations, it has always been like that.

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties
at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

Yes, that quote is attributed to Socrates (who died in 399 BC) by Plato in his “Republic Book 4″. So, don’t fret or despair to much, the young have always been, well stupid, but most of them do grow out of it.

SWalker on June 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM