What is going on in Washington, DC these days is something else. But this isn’t the first time I’ve been hit on the head by how appalling our current political climate is these days, and it’s not going to be the last time I sit back and shake my head in disgust at the ways in which power, money, and greed all play out in how the country I am a citizen of.
I want to take some time and just ruminate on something, and perhaps just put this out there. Bear with me.
I am a member of a generation that, from what I see and what I’ve experienced, is stagnant and simply stuck waiting for our chance to take the mantles from our parents and grandparents, and step up as leaders. In four years, I can technically run for President of the United States. So could people of my generation. We can stand for Congress, we can be the ones sitting on those committees and in those positions that make the decisions about the direction of our country. We are on the verge of being the generation responsible for the way things are done in America. Soon, I will be electing representation from my peers, not my parents or grandparents.
My generation is one of a huge blend of culture, energy, expression, and color. We are not the “typical” American generation. We are educated. We bought into, and continue to buy into, the push from our parents to seek higher education. We have gone through the motions, as prescribed to us, and have ended up on the margins of a society where we struggle to find our place, struggle to find a way to feed ourselves, and in our struggle, are able to still celebrate diversity and empowerment of the individual. We are disillusioned with religion, generally speaking, and if given the chance to come out from under the systems of control held over us from previous generations, can find our way to a middle ground more often than not.
I’m talking in broad generalizations here, but damn it, this is how I see the world. Again, bear with me.
What if we simply revolted? And by revolted, I mean stood up to be counted? What if we just took over? What if we used our collective voice, our over-educated minds, and found a way to enact the changes we generally agree should happen in this country in order to bring us in line with the rest of the developed world? And what if we stopped accepting those older than us who tell us we are selfish, self-centered, and only interested in me-me-me? What if we could caucus, organize, and build a movement that put real pressure on those in charge currently until we could step up and take the reins?
I see an America that has a government that reflects the actual people who live in the country being governed, and not the rich and powerful elitists that currently hold the reins. We don’t need flashy campaigns and never-ending membership to the houses of government. We do, however, need to see actions that are beneficial towards the entire country, and not just a fortunate few. Kick out the lobbyists, the deal brokers, the corporate powers that for too long have bought every vote, or held the majority of the country hostage because of the needs their shareholders have.
I’m tired of having to deal with dysfunction at a national level. I’m tired of living in a country that brings shame upon its citizens. I’m tired of being recognized as a member of the sullen teenager nation at the dinner table of nations. It’s time for us to grow up, time for us to act like a reasonable adult, and time for those of us who actually do know better, have the energy, and the will to enact the deep changes this country needs in order to be a full-fledged member of the 21st century.
My generation consists of scientists, engineers, tech-savy geekery, educators, skilled craftspeople, talented and passionate artists, and thinkers. We have been taught to question, taught to be experimental, and taught to communicate. We have been granted degrees and diplomas that heretofore have been made null and void by our current state of economic and political affairs in this country.
I also think we are a generation of optimists. We want the better. We want the good. We want to take the high road. We are hopeful, even in the midst of our current darkness. I say, it’s time we rise up and do something about it. We can play within the rules, and get our voices heard. We can form our own parties, our own strategies. We can be a force. You say you want a third way? I say we could be that third way. Balanced, forward-thinking, respectful, knowledgeable, and eager to get to work.