Remember when we were teenagers and thought we knew everything and we wished all the older people would just sit down and be quiet because they bored us? You know how we look back now and realize what arrogant and ignorant little shits we were and how glad we are that nobody gave us too much actual power before we had the wisdom and experience to know how to handle it?
I’m very happy to see the passion and commitment coming from the young people in our country. It is truly inspiring and gives me great hope for the future.
But I recently read an interview in New York Magazine with Parkland shooting survivor and teenage activist David Hogg. In it he’s quoted as saying ‘Older democrats just won’t move the fuck off the plate and let us take control.’
This kid is eighteen years old. He seriously believes that those of us who have decades of insight and knowledge of how life and politics work should step aside and let the teenagers take control.
And that is exactly how a teenager thinks. They think they know everything and those who don’t think like them or agree with them are wrong and should get out of the way. They haven’t had the life experience that comes with learning to listen and compromise and work together to get things done.
He also said, ‘Nancy Pelosi is old,’ which in the context he’s quoted, means she’s useless and should step aside. As if age is some kind of handicap and youth is the true commodity.
You know what else Nancy Pelosi is, David? She’s the only female Speaker of the House and one of the most powerful women in history.
There’s a reason kids who become famous at a young age usually end up train-wrecking their lives as adults. Because giving a kid too much fame and power before they have the maturity to handle it is not healthy. They start to believe the world revolves around them and every utterance out of their mouth is divination.
I’m all for the youth movement we’re seeing as a result of what’s happening in our country. But the last thing we need is to crown them saviors and hand them the reigns. They have a lot to offer, but so do those of us who have walked this road a lot longer.
The only way to truly move ahead is with unity and respect.
Respect and cooperation will take you a lot further than insult.
And that, David, is something age will teach you.