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Millennials’ Bush Hangover

Happy birthday, old friend. Few periodicals have been as impactful on my political development as The American Conservative, and no professional honor has been greater than when I was brought aboard seven months ago to serve as its managing editor. It can only be fitting that I should now be starting work on an essay commemorating TAC’s big one-five only a day after finishing another piece deploring just so many years of the Iraq war. A quick dip into the TAC archives (accessible by an elevator disguised as a tree in Scott McConnell’s yard) should be all the evidence you need that without Iraq our little publication might never have been. That ugly war was TAC’s white whale, the reason its founders were able to assemble such a polymathic bunch of professors and polemicists, traditionalists and libertarians, all united around the conviction that George W. Bush’s bum rush to Baghdad would prove a calamity.

A decade and a half on, it’s tempting to conclude that TAC won the intellectual battle while losing the institutional one. As the forces of history and local peculiarity asserted themselves, Iraq descended into sectarian chaos, and the occupation’s architects were held in public contempt. Yet since then we’ve made the same regime change mistake in Libya and are currently waging war in at least six other nations, with possibly more in store now that the mustachioed maestro of mayhem, John Bolton, has been elevated to the National Security Council. Failure has only hardened the hawkish amber around Washington’s powerful adviser farms, to the point that today the varieties of thought represented in TAC seem only marginally more establishment than they were a decade and a half ago.

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To invoke Tom Wolfe, it’s no good being even 10 minutes ahead of the times. And yet, incorrigible optimist that I am, I’d like to think that I’ve located hope in a place where it’s rarely found: the young. We Millennials have been accused in think pieces of ruining a litany of good things—including democracy, marriage, beer, and napkins—but I’d like to posit that American foreign policy is notably not among them. In fact, when it comes to international relations, the kids are all right.

Public opinion surveys about the nuances of foreign policy are difficult to find. It seems that calling people up and asking them whether Iranian Twelver Shiism will prove geopolitically incompatible with the more syncretic practices of the Yemeni Zaidis is apparently not something pollsters think worth their time. But a handful of polls have probed Millennials about their views on war and peace more generally. And, notably, the result consistently has been a preference for restraint. A Pew poll from March 2018 found that, while 12 years ago there were scant differences of foreign policy opinion between Millennials and others generations, the divide nowadays is gaping. Fully 77 percent of Millennials think diplomacy is a better way to preserve the peace than military force, compared to 52 percent of Baby Boomers (born from 1946 to 1964) and 43 percent of Silents (born from 1928-1945). And while 46 percent of Silents said the United States “stands above” all other nations, only 18 percent of Millennials agreed. That isn’t to say the young are monolithically dovish: a 2015 Harvard Institute for Politics survey found that 60 percent of those aged 18 to 29 thought ground troops would be needed to defeat the Islamic State. But even then only 16 percent said they already had or would be willing to enlist to get the job done, a telling chasm between the personal and the political.

What’s going on here? A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner of the Cato Institute put Millennial foreign policy views under the microscope and came away with three conclusions: first, the young perceive the world as less threatening than their elders; second, they value international cooperation more than other cohorts; and, third, they’re more circumspect about using military force overall. All of that is true, but I would suggest a sine qua non: Millennials’ aversion to war stems from their deep skepticism of the national institutions around them. A recent Harvard poll found that majorities of the young hold in contempt a long catalogue of societal authorities, including the media, Wall Street, the federal government, Congress, the Supreme Court, and the police. Only scientists and (ironically) the military escaped unscathed, and the armed forces only just made the cut at 53 percent approval.

This cynicism understandably has fed a stereotype of the Millennial as a precious atomized individual, strutting about with Muse lyrics thrashing out of his ear buds, reserving tolerance for all and sparing side eyes for none. And while some of that is accurate, a little history can offer a richer portrait.

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change_me

Most Millennials grew up during or at least with a faint memory of the 1990s, that pacific confettiscape of a decade with its consumerist it-goods and post-Cold War American dominance, its Nerf gun commercials blaring out of the TV, and little green stock market arrows beckoning ever upwards. Then came 9/11. And, just as Sebastian Flyte proves portentous in Brideshead Revisited when he laments to Charles Ryder that “it’s rather sad to think that whatever happens you and I can never possibly get involved in a war,” so, too, did youthful restlessness in the tranquil 1990s give way to a sense of martial purpose.

A barbaric strike at the heart of the American enterprise—Millennials enlisted by the thousands and shipped off to Afghanistan (though it certainly wasn’t of a magnitude seen after Pearl Harbor). While we were generally more suspicious of America’s military campaign than our elders, the idea of rebuilding the Middle East appealed to the spirit of reform that’s so often wrought out of adversity in the hearts of the young. And when the Taliban was quickly toppled by a relatively painless show of might (or so we thought), it seemed the world really was about to be changed for the better.

As I noted in my Iraq war anniversary piece, the idealism that underpinned the nascent war on terror was both deeply radical in its ambitions and inculcated in places far more powerful than the 18-to-25 demographic. In his first major speech after 9/11, no less an adult than George W. Bush charged his countrymen with a starry-eyed mission: “to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil.” His call was echoed by right-wing pundits who churned out books with white-hot titles: An End to Evil and Deliver Us From Evil.

The ethos of the moment was best captured by a Hegel quote that had been ominously parroted by Francis Fukuyama a decade earlier: “We stand at the gates of an important epoch, a time of ferment, when spirit moves forward in a leap, transcends its previous shape and takes on a new one.” Just as leftist radicals two generations earlier had declared war on inequality and poverty, so too were humanity’s conceptual defects—authoritarianism and even wickedness itself—to be put to the sword. It was through the lens of this jejune mania that we decided Iraq, not al-Qaeda in Pakistan, must be our next target, as enlarged as our focus had become beyond just crushing the 9/11 culprits.

Those dreams would soon dissipate into so much smoke over the desert. We stormed into Iraq only to become ensnared in what would become a decade-plus-long quagmire that shook not just our post-9/11 idealism but our perception of America as the world’s good and unipolar superpower. Those of us who had grown up thinking we lived in a providentially invincible nation were suddenly confronted with images of flag-draped coffins and Humvees belching up orange flames.

And then came the second punch in the one-two: the global recession that would immolate $13 trillion in wealth, just in time for many of us to enter—this term was now laden with even more foreboding—the real world. Millennials suddenly faced underemployment and salaries too low to finance their student loan payments. That sent many of them back to live with their parents after college and positioned many more on a paycheck-to-paycheck knife’s edge. Social Security, we knew, wasn’t going to be there for us either, and health care costs only continued to increase after Obamacare was passed.

This fraught reality was far removed from the charmed decade in which we grew up, and the juxtaposition between the two is essential to understanding the Millennial mind. Such a collapse, we knew, hadn’t come about on its own: there were agents of this destruction, and they had warmed powerful chairs in Washington and on Wall Street. Why do we so distrust our institutions? They failed us, for one thing. None of this is to excuse our vanity, our lack of savings, our many other self-inflicted problems. It’s also not to wallow in self-pity, proud Millennial tradition though that might be. It’s only to acknowledge the reality that we came of age during a period of sustained policy failure, and to expect this not to color our outlook would be unrealistic. If you want to understand why the senescent socialist Bernie Sanders appeals to many Millennials, consider that the West’s Cold War struggle against Marxism wasn’t our formative event; the Bush presidency was, and it was Sanders who promised the cleanest break with the militarization and corporate plunder that many regard as that administration’s hallmarks.

The military is one demographic that isn’t smitten by Bernie, yet even the historically right-wing culture of the armed forces has soured on humanitarian war. A remarkable Military Times poll from September 2016 found that 55 percent of active duty troops said they “strongly oppose” or “somewhat oppose” more nation building and democracy promotion abroad, against only 23 percent in support. (Remember that in the unlikely event you see another one of those yellow “support the troops” bumper magnets.)

Instead, majorities of service-members preferred that Washington focus on the military’s more traditional duties of national defense: counterterrorism, protecting the homeland, cyber-security, and nuclear deterrence. It was unsurprising, then, that a plurality of the armed forces said they backed Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, according to another Military Times survey that same year. Much more shocking was that Hillary didn’t even come in second place. That honor went to Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, so averse to invading Syria that he studiously avoided knowing what an Aleppo was. It was a faint echo of the 2008 and 2012 campaigns when the dovish Ron Paul outraised his Republican and Democratic rivals among contributions from active duty troops.

These data was fleshed into anecdote for me a few years ago when I met a young veteran at a party. Over several beers we got to talking, and he mentioned that he had served in Iraq. This was just after ISIS had conquered Fallujah, and I offered that he must be furious, given how many Marines had died trying to retake that city a decade earlier. Not really, he said. His reaction had been more of a fatalistic ho-hum, a shrug and an admission that such a dire outcome was probably inevitable. There was, he told me, no appetite among his fellow service members for another expedition back to Iraq, nor to any other exotic land. Instead, a sense of skepticism and even listlessness had settled in, especially among those who had grown up with the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and couldn’t believe those theaters were still so hot. I asked whether this condition could be described as a “hangover.” Yes, he said, though it was nothing compared to the hangover he intended to have the next morning. Then he took another swig of beer.

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Military and civilian, left and right, the result of this chastening by Iraq has been a generational wariness over preventative war unseen since the Vietnam Syndrome of the 1970s and 1980s. Instead of mapping out a new Middle East, Millennials have instead turned to domestic politics, with an emphasis on issues such as climate change, inequality, and the economy that’s caused them so much trouble. The young remain vaguely internationalist—they certainly don’t subscribe to Donald Trump’s vision of nationhood, which they regard as cramped and even bigoted—but they tend to interpret that internationalism as meaning America must be made worthy of the rest of the world rather than the other way round. Barack Obama with his wooly-headed idealism, Donald Trump with his insistence on rebuilding the United States rather than Iraq, and Hillary Clinton with her outwardly sanguine feminism have all appealed to segments of the Millennial demographic. And, while mainline, rah-rah-Ronnie conservatism still lives on in many of the right’s activist houses, the changing times have seen many young Republicans head in different ideological directions than their parents.

The most visible manifestation of this shift right has been the rise of libertarianism. Head to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the popular right’s annual world’s fair, and you’ll find a palpable divide—older attendees who revere Newt Gingrich and talk of three-legged stools; and college students who say they have libertarian streaks and tend to indulge them after hours. The old jape about libertarians is that they’re just Republicans who want to smoke pot; a more charitable (and perhaps overlapping) assessment is that they’re rightward-inclined Millennials determined not to repeat the Bush administration’s mistakes, most of which involved the use of federal power. Many of these libertarians were inspired by the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of Ron Paul, which, similar to the Sanders surge, saw an elderly candidate succeed in reviving old ideas because to the young they seemed novel and divergent. Paul’s achievement was to show that you could remain of the right while still cutting a path around the GOP’s detested foreign policy, a legacy that his son Rand continues today.

Another alternative to the hoary GOP of yesteryear is the force of cultural reaction that has arisen on the right, and here leaden terms clunk about: alt-right, alt-lite; ethno-nationalism, civic nationalism. Some in this group are fans of relatively mainstream figures such as University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson and TV talk-show host Tucker Carlson; a few have embarked down the dark and sinuous path that swallowed white supremacists such as Richard Spencer many years ago. But the mainstream of this group is what matters, and they firmly reject the global altruism espoused by the Iraq war’s architects. Instead, they seek a revitalization of America, distinct from other nation-states yet friendly towards them so long as they give us, in the Tommy-Killian-on-the-phone syntax of Donald Trump, “a fair deal.” Many of them are at least sympathetic to Trump and Britain’s efforts to decamp from the European Union, and while most would acknowledge Vladimir Putin as an unsavory character, they appreciate that he looks out for his homeland’s national interests. This group views a strong and self-confident citizenry as a necessity. Political correctness to them is poison, as is the left’s debauching of our educational institutions.

The third ascendant alternative to neoconservatism is the most nascent and the most interesting: call them neo-traditionalists, if only for lack of a better label. These are mostly Catholic thinkers who deplore not just the loss of a common American culture but the vitiation of the Christian ethic that once provided the country with spiritual nourishment. This group worries about problems that more mainstream political observers tend not to notice: loneliness, materialism, sexual anarchy, pornography addiction, our throwaway culture of disposable stuff, the loss of any credible moral authority to steady our ship’s wheels. Theirs is a response not to anything so political as the Bush administration, but to that aforementioned cynicism towards institutions, which they charge has left man alone and shivering, in possession of rights but lacking in guidance as to how to use them. In concord with the Notre Dame academic Patrick Deneen, they align themselves against our modern conception of liberalism and the merciless globalism and corporatism that they believe have displaced the permanent things.

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These three strains don’t always overlap—the neo-trads are especially disdainful of the libertarians—but they do have two things in common. The first is that none of them is especially hawkish on foreign policy. The crusade to end evil abroad always rested on the assumption that America was unalterably good at home: what these schools acknowledge is that we have problems here, now, problems that are towering and can only be addressed by violating the neocons’ and liberal interventionists’ shrieking proscription against “looking inwards.” For the libertarians, that means addressing police brutality and the national debt; for the nationalists, it means stopping political correctness and mass immigration; for the trads it means bringing liberty and order into harmony.

And if those causes sound familiar, that’s because the second thing they have in common is that all are regularly espoused here in The American Conservative. So Sláinte. The old Goldwater mystique has some application yet: sometimes in losing you really do win, and at least when it comes to the foreign policy argument, TAC has won. Whether we now translate this intellectual victory into political and institutional success remains an open question.  

Matt Purple is managing editor of The American Conservative.

29 Comments (Open | Close)

29 Comments To "Millennials’ Bush Hangover"

#1 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 15, 2018 @ 12:32 am

“That isn’t to say the young are monolithically dovish: a 2015 Harvard Institute for Politics survey found that 60 percent of those aged 18 to 29 thought ground troops would be needed to defeat the Islamic State. But even then only 16 percent said they already had or would be willing to enlist to get the job done, a telling chasm between the personal and the political.”

If millennials didn’t grasp the near folly of Afghanistan, I am not going to give them intellectual points for Iraq. But the above data sets make it clear millennials are but a distant reflection of their Vietnam era grand parent protesters and a side less of the integrity, but that isn’t saying much, the Vietnam war protesters were donkey backwards on nearly every point. In fifty years we haven’t unraveled their nonsense the US psyche.

And I suspect that these millennials simply don’t give a hootn nanny about country. For example, their care and concern for the national integrity:

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It’s tough to take anyone seriously if they don’t grasp the value of borders and immigration policies that protect US citizens. A nation in which so many have given so much right or wrong having you young upstarts tell them borders don’t matter — as these youngsters trade away their jobs, homes and income for high rises in San Francisco and their DACA maids and house boys so they can avoid paying a fair wage to US citizens — hardly a group whose values on foreign policy scream sell outs without an ounce of wince or shame —

Hmmm . . . let’s skip nationalism — millennials have a rather corrupt view of what nationalism means. They prefer patriotism — well, let’s take a peak at their views of being loyal to nation as patriots.

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Of special note:

“Born between 1928 and 1945, the Silent Generation fought both the wars in Korea and Vietnam. Thirty-one percent of them report that they personally served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces. Only 4 percent of millennials have done so.”

Now one might argue the reason the milservice numbers differ is because of the draft. And I will be looking into those numbers, I think they will be as telling about sense of patriotic identity, ever to avoid the term nationalism.

It’s interesting this because it fails to note the violence of the so called silent generation — Vietnam war protests, civil rights . . . violence for same sex rights, women’s liberation — hardly silent. By 1973 the draft was gone — one wonders what college genius coined the term silent generation Those born between 1935 – 1945 were demonstrably vocal by 1964.

But interesting enough, according to the data – hard data those who serve today largely come from red states — curious why that would be — not.
I have yet to have any millennial provide an accurate history of the south western US and how it came to be — they actually think the US stole this territory from Mexico — ask a few historical questions about Texas and independence and they are at a complete loss. They’ll wax on about philosophical conspiracies of whites to take away the land from Mexicans. Their knowledge is critique based on critiques as opposed to actual events.

Listen politely to the position on climate change ask a few basic questions about the data and predictive nature of the so referenced “science” and instead of racing to find the answers — they will suggest you are a “climate denier”.

Granted, I have not completed this article and as usual before getting half way through it — the one slice of information needed to consider the millennials point of view with any seriousness abandons any cause for doing so.

But what settles it for me, are the provided data sets in which they admit we should fight ISIS/ISIL and to do we need boots on the ground, but they aren’t willing to pay that price. (Mooted for the moment, but most likely morphed into something else.)

They want libertarian polity yet they are utterly unwilling to ante up. And that is the issue. One is willing to chip in some manner for all that our admittedly imperfect union offers.

And they yet to demonstrate any such willingness . . .

absolutely no sale here.

So despite having the political insights that our wars are for naught they won’t even risk protesting against them. At least their grand parents took a stab at it – despite getting the [polity completely backwards.

#2 Comment By John On May 15, 2018 @ 7:15 am

“Instead, majorities of service-members preferred that Washington focus on the military’s more traditional duties of national defense: counterterrorism, protecting the homeland, cyber-security, and nuclear deterrence. It was unsurprising, then, that a plurality of the armed forces said they backed Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, according to another Military Times survey that same year.”

Or maybe white American men in a branch of service vote a lot like white American men who aren’t in a branch of service.

On active duty, men outnumber women 85-15, and by only slightly less in the Guard and Reserve components. Meanwhile, 71% of the total military force is white. Overall, Trump won the male vote 53-41 and the white vote 58-37. Accordingly, Trump won the military vote, as Republican candidates tend to win the military vote.

#3 Comment By Kent On May 15, 2018 @ 7:22 am

As the proud father of a millennial, I see much of my son in this article. He has been raised in an America of failure. An America where it’s military can’t defeat ragtag bands of extremists. An America that can’t keep its banks from crashing the economy for everyone else. An America that is too intellectually weak to fight climate change and mitigate its impact on future generations. An America that charges $20,000 for an overnight stay at the hospital and charges $20,000 per year for a college education.

I don’t ask why my son isn’t patriotic. My generation has failed him. I hope his generation is smarter and has more integrity. And isn’t as easily manipulated by the media and politicians.

#4 Comment By ControlE On May 15, 2018 @ 7:54 am

EliteCommInc, we do not admit ‘we should fight ISIS but are not willing to pay the price’. We admit it would take boots on the ground (not drone strikes and the such) to eliminate ISIS. That does not mean we think the US should actually put boots on the ground to eliminate ISIS.

Those are two entirely separate questions.

1) Will it take ground forces to defeat ISIS? Yes.

2) Should the US use ground forces to defeat ISIS? No.

Millennials are not one monolithic single minded generation. I’m 33. By most accounts I’m an old Millennia. A lot of the political views I hold are not the same as a 24 year old. The one area where most of us are of the same thought though, just as this article points out, is foreign policy. We have an almost universal non-interventionist view.

It might sound harsh… but most of us, even the most progressive of liberals (who never outright admit it, at risk of sounds cold hearted), have a “screw the rest of the world” mindset. ISIS sucks… ain’t our problem.

We can look back at fifty years worth of catastrophes created by the US government trying to fix someone else’s problem.

#5 Comment By Centralist On May 15, 2018 @ 8:34 am

We did take the land from Mexico, after the Mexican American War. We also thrashed them to the point full annexation was considered an option. One wonders what the character of the nation would be if we had.

The lack of protest comes from fear of unemployment because the majority of them(us) are is so much debt that we can not risk our jobs. It is an amazing control collar designed to prevent the status qua from being to upset by our actually beliefs. It is easy to talk about taking action when you lack $80000 of money owed that directly effects an individuals capacity to own a home, get married or even start a family. Talk is cheap I get that feeling, its just everything else we inherited is so expansive

#6 Comment By Crème Fraiche On May 15, 2018 @ 9:03 am

EliteCommInc: what a grumpy response to a nicely written article. You might be showing your age here?

“absolutely no sale here.”

Why would you think
that the author or the generation described is interested in selling you anything? Or the generation. This is not how these things work.

You have thrown about descriptions of “DACA maids”, mixed in stats on military service and also seem to be frustrated about the general populace’s lack of knowledge about the history of the Southwest,etc.

Im a millennial on the left and find this description of my fellow compratriots to be pretty accurate. While I don’t agree with the right leaning members of my generation, I understand why they feel the way they do as we have a shared experience.

I could be angry at previous generations, because of their intractable faith in free markets, the bottomless appetite of the american consumer and belief that the post WWII economic advantage held by the US was an short term anomaly (or a gods way of recognizing path to American superiority), I don’t find this inter generational tension to be helpful. But on that note, this article was a runaway success [6]

We all love our country and are looking for the same things. So let’s be empathetic to each other’s experiences and talk about what we can do together to make America prosperous again.

#7 Comment By Joe the Plutocrat On May 15, 2018 @ 9:14 am

Millennials’ aversion to war stems from their deep skepticism of the national institutions around them. what you refer to as ‘skepticism’ I see as intellectual indifference/apathy (perhaps too focused on the ‘hangover’ to address its root cause). I have been a small l libertarian since I became politically ‘aware’. in the 90’s I described libertarians as Republicans without the ‘family values’. sadly, as evidenced by the dismissal of Gary Johnson, the idea of ‘libertarian’ has been coopted, producing the proverbial corrupt, globalist, war-mongering neo-cons ” in ‘libertarian clothing’ offered on the first Tuesday in November 4 years. no sir, I do not view millennials (as a political force) through the lens of previous generations/history. I view them through Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness). ‘extreme grief may ultimately vent itself in violence, but more generally takes the form of apathy’.

#8 Comment By Luther Perez On May 15, 2018 @ 9:36 am

If you cruise down to Breitbart, it seems that their young folks are excited about putting Iran in its place. It actually reminds me of the rights march into the Iraq war.

#9 Comment By Roger On May 15, 2018 @ 9:45 am

If it were me I’d rename the title to Bush and Obama hangover. The last I checked Obama oversaw the troop surge in Afghanistan and his term in office was just as long as Bush’s. As for Millennial’s they are suffering a hangover due to the economic crisis not the wars overseas. The majority of Millennial’s are not impacted by the wars, a majority probably don’t even know anyone that serves in the military and a small percentage actually serve. Now if you wanted to argue that the deficit spending due to the wars will eventually impact their prospects of retirement then that would be a valid point. Millennial’s are more concerned with finding employment and trying to establish a career. You shouldn’t bash them for their malaise instead you should applaud them. They’ve figured out something you haven’t learned and that is no matter what party is in office the wars continued. Why bother protesting when it isn’t going to make a difference and the time could be spent doing something else like finding a job. I bet if they were out protesting you’d call them foolish and state that they should instead be out looking for work. Maybe the older more established citizens should be making their voice heard. But then again they are even less impacted by the wars.

#10 Comment By Michael Kenny On May 15, 2018 @ 11:10 am

“There goes the crowd. I must follow. I am its leader”. The young, or at least, the post-millennials, who start from somewhere between 1995 and 2000, depending on who you ask, are undoubtedly moving left, so Mr Purple is now running after them, trying to sell himself and his beliefs as “leftwing”! Old wine in new bottles! Just in case we missed the point, he gets in an anti-EU and pro-Putin dig. Nothing has changed. It’s the same cynical “pretext politics”. The conclusion is decided on first and then, whatever pretext is needed to justify that conclusion is trotted out. Mr Purple’s discourse is roughly as follows: “my ideas will win out because they’re rightwing ideas and the young are rightwing. What? The young are swinging left? No problem! My ideas will win out because they’re leftwing ideas and the young are leftwing”. The same old ideology is being peddled, only now it’s being called leftwing rather than rightwing. His argument is just empty spin. I doubt if that will fool anyone, least of all the post-millennials, whom, in a previous article, Mr Purple was saying would grow out of their silly leftwing ideas.

#11 Comment By Dan Green On May 15, 2018 @ 11:13 am

Maybe this up and coming younger generation figured out we haven’t won a war since WW 2. Starting a war marketed as protecting our interest is worn out.

#12 Comment By Gerald Arcuri On May 15, 2018 @ 11:37 am

Nice try. A whole lot of verbiage that doesn’t support the premise that Millenials have reached their attitude toward war for high and noble reasons… or even skeptical ones.

Let me explain. No, let me sum up. Take a gander at the current crop of television commercials being run by “insurance” companies, most notably the drivel being pumped out by Liberty Mutual. Therein you will see the average “Millenial” typified, along with one or more helicopter parents. This is a generation so far removed from pain, suffering, sacrifice or responsibility that the truths which underpin a view of the world as hostile, requiring a strong national defense to which every citizen must contribute cannot possibly penetrate their heads.

How so? Examine the real-world definition of insurance, i.e., making a prudent sacrifice now – premiums – against the real risk of substantial loss in the future. First, you have to believe that you – yes, narcissistic little you! – are actually at risk, and that it is you who must take steps to indemnify yourself. Instead, you prefer “nanny insurance”, which guarantees the “full replacement cost” of your vehicle, “accident forgiveness”, and roasside flat tire changing because you – fully-grown male teenager – can’t figure out how to do it yourself, even with the tools and owner’s manual in the car Mommy bought for you.

The military is but a form of national security insurance. If you don’t understand – or have been led to believe – that life has no inherent risks that won’t be coveredd by “Mommy” and “Nanny”, then to you the military and personal militray service go your country are mere abstractions. Your professors will gladly tell you what to do with such abstractions.

#13 Comment By Jay On May 15, 2018 @ 12:07 pm

A reminder to you all, we, we being millenials, are tired already. Previous generations have left a giant mess not only for millenials, but for our kids and grandkids as well. You chastise the millenial generation for not following in your footsteps. For those of us fortunate enough to have grandparents around still, are speaking with them constantly, to figure out where things went wrong and we are fixing them. To top off the incessant whinning of the older generations, we don’t give a damn about possessions or borders. All humans on this globe share in the same fate, it is our duty as globalists to make sure we as a species survive through what past generations have failed to do.

#14 Comment By Scott On May 15, 2018 @ 12:44 pm

Yes, let’s keep beating up Millenials. Let’s keep telling them they are no good, lazy, unpatriotic. Let’s start cutting social security, healthcare, education for them but not for the baby boomers. Because we can’t afford anything anymore. Also, keep telling them to suck it up and not whine.

Keep doing that but don’t be surprised that in 15-20 years they gain power and tell you all where to go with your complaints

#15 Comment By sglover On May 15, 2018 @ 1:21 pm

Gerald Arcuri: You’re seriously going to base your sweeping generalizations on — TV commercials from insurance companies?!?! Hey, it’s a… creative… foundation for an argument. And it’s not out of step with the “reasoning” displayed day in day out by the right-wingers here. (These days the Trump dead-enders can give Salvador Dali a run for his money.) But as a technique of persuasion, well….

#16 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 15, 2018 @ 1:41 pm

“So let’s be empathetic to each other’s experiences and talk about what we can do together to make America prosperous again.”

Empathy: I too was young once, I understand why you feel no need to sacrifice for others — it’s hard, it’s time consuming, it’s painful and the rewards are uncertain.”

This the country you inherited it comes at a price – that price may be personal.
________________

Though I have not responded to other comments, it’s from lack of respect or ability. I am just otherwise engaged. Excuse the delay.

#17 Comment By George Hoffman On May 15, 2018 @ 4:17 pm

That 2016 Harvard poll in which 60% of millennials supported military intervention overseas while only 16% have served or would serve reflects how the draft was another casualty of the Vietnam War when this cherished ideal of the citizen/soldier, another “hangover,” for the Second World War still reflected the consensus among citizens. But being a Vietnam veteran, I can’t really blame or accuse these millennia of hypocrisy. In fact my opinion of millennials went up tremendously reading this essay. And the policy wonks and political operatives cited across the political spectrum rarely join the military and/or go to war as Professor Andrew Basevich of Boston University pointed out in his “Breach of Trust,” a historical critique on the wide and deep chasm between soldiers and civilians, since the end of the Second World War. We’ve become a nation of spectators, and whether you supported or opposed these wars overseas since the 9/11 attacks, civilians are sitting in the bleachers since they have “no skin in the game” as Basevich stated in his book. By the way, I oppose these proposals to bring back the draft, and ironically I would guess so do the war hawks since they now have what essentially amounts to a private army or even perhaps to critics on the left a mercenary one more akin to the French Foreign Legion according to the late Chalmers Johnson who wrote “Blowback” a year before the 9/11 attacks. And once when I was watching watching “Westworld,” that sci-fi series on HBO, I thought that perhaps in the near future clones could be manufactured and settle this faux debate about patriotism, because I assure you if GWB had brought back the draft after the 9/11 attacks, we would have withdrawn from Afghanistan and Iraq long ago.

#18 Comment By March Hare On May 15, 2018 @ 4:42 pm

I don’t think it’s accurate to put the Libya fiasco in the same basket with Iraq.

Both idiotic in hindsight, but Iraq stands head and shoulders above when it comes to sheer, before-the-fact idiocy. In Iraq, we specifically called for regime change, and sent a couple hundred thousand troops to carry it out. Anybody with three functioning neurons could see that an extensive post-war program would need to be designed and implemented.

Libya didn’t start out as a regime change operation, and involved next to no ground forces. I certainly didn’t think that the entire Kaddafi regime would collapse in the face of airstrikes on a single military convoy. Did you?

#19 Comment By LouisM On May 15, 2018 @ 5:58 pm

In yet another sign of the conversion to the right or alt-traditionalism, the Trudeau govt is begging the US to stop the flow if immigrants to Canada. Ironic that it was Trudeau who attempted to shame and humiliate the US just a few months ago by telling all those rejected by the US are welcome in Canada. Trudeau, the man-child, is smelling the stench of his administration failure to win re-election.

In the US, Trump is a disappointment. 1) The neomarxists, antifa, black lives matters, communists, socialists, anarchists, anti-American contempt, radical anti-male and anti-religious and anti-white and anti-family and pro-abortion leftists are still tenured and still inculcating public and college age kids. 3) I do not see an increase in import taxes. 4) I don’t see an end to VISA overstays and other illegal immigration nor do I see a clamp down on requests for amnesty or refugees. 5) I don’t see a reduction of govt debt.

However, I do see the Trump administration continuing a military buildup, foreign aid, foreign military bases and continued war in the same countries as BushII and Obama with new fronts in Iran and North Korea.

Last point, the US is losing its technological edge to China and advances in hypersonic missiles could push the US out of the South China Sea, Sea of Japan and Western Pacific.

Pat Buchanan and others have warned for decades that the US, Canada, Western & Central Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are all under a covert war by subversive cultural Marxists and the end of the rope is nearer than the neoliberal and neoconservative warmongerers would let anyone admit. Trump campaigned on upgrading our global technological lead, upgrading our global competitiveness, upgrading our military, ending nation building and reducing our foreign military commitments, reducing our debt, closing our borders to illegals and criminal gangs and criminal drug cartels…as well as restoring religious freedom and traditional American values.

If Trump ignores these core values and continues to focus only on North Korea and Iran then he can be 100% confident that the democrats will spin their interpretation of these issues into a democratic resurgence. This is not just what the millennials want but this is what the 50% of americans who voted for Trump want. Its high time Trump stopped feeding the Iran, China, EU and NKorea trolls and refocused his administration. The millennials can be one over but they are the proverbial canary in the coal mine. If Trump loses the millennials then Trumps base will be the next casualty. The common ground between the millennials and the Trump base is not to be ignored. Millenials are not locked into Trump as is Trumps base. Millenials disillusioned with Trump are open to switching to a democratic alterntive like Sanders…and millennia disillusionment will open the door to Trumps base also being disillusioned.

#20 Comment By connecticut farmer On May 15, 2018 @ 6:58 pm

Well, it won’t be long before millenials start to run things. And when they start making mistakes-as is inevitable in all human endeavor since time runneth not to the contrary– then it’ll be THEIR offspring who’ll whine about what a mess their parents made of things.

“Plus c’est change…”etc.

#21 Comment By Bill Meyer On May 15, 2018 @ 7:55 pm

Jay, since you’re a globalist who is tired of my whining, and you don’t give a damn about possessions or borders, you wouldn’t mind me dropping by to steal your Iphone or other stuff, right? Who needs boundaries, security, or things? Wait, since you don’t really give a damn, it’s not really stealing, is it? Good luck with that worldview.

#22 Comment By KS On May 15, 2018 @ 10:10 pm

@Elitecommic,

right, clearly we didnt kill enough vietnamese. We needed to kill a few million more didn’t we? How many will be enough for you? And no doubt you think you are moral lol.

@Luther, yup. The ugliness of the heartland (sic) couldn’t be more evident. But let them go: let them spend 10 -20 tours of duty fighting pointless wars who know where. And no doubt they think they are moral too.

And let them rot in their coal mines. You all want California out don’t you? Hey we will go and we will take all the good jobs, all the technology that we built with us. And we will hire every last person of the world before we hire someone from a red state.

Please carry on as you are.

#23 Comment By EliteCommYbc. On May 16, 2018 @ 7:30 am

Excuse my windiness and bad writing — old age . . .

” . . . what a grumpy response to a nicely written article. You might be showing your age here?”

Grumpy with a side of bitterness. Laugh. You neglected whute bigot in your inquiry. And of course, it’s not the content that matters, it’s my age. Have news for you youngster, I would have given the same response ten years ago, twenety years ago, and thirty years ago. Age has nothing to do with it.
_______
Now maybe my age is getting in the way, but it was my understanding that the article is making acse about millenials. Usually when one makes said case, their intent is either to inform or persuade, possibly both. In either case, it is an article to convince one of something. In response:

1. I am not persuaded
2. I am not convinced
3. I am not even sure I am more informed but it is confirmation of one position
No sale. Absolutely no sale.
______
Frustrated perhaps, convinced absolutely, that millennials are as described self centered and destitute of any actual sense of what it means to be a citizen. That is not the fault of one’s parents, that is a choice out of fear to be accountable and therefore responsible for the land you inherit.

Fear or accountability, note your response here . . . a sentence in no manner responding to the content or the import of the issues i mention either individually or as they mat relate to each other. What is your primary response — to what you assume is my mental or emotional state. In other words, I am too old, stupid and no doubt white, for you to consider the issues and respond — but merely the typical millennial — your old and mean and frustrated. If that is the best you have to offer — here’s a short cut to any issue: Just say, “Climate denier”.
_______________
“I could be angry at previous generations, because of their intractable faith in free markets, the bottomless appetite . . . held by the US was an short term anomaly (or a gods way of recognizing path to American superiority), I don’t find this inter generational tension to be helpful.”

Laughing. Nothing like spouting off about endless greed, and then praising “free markets”. But first, let’s take your assumptions about my views on the economy. I am of stunned by the mind reading and supra knowledge you have about my economic views.

1. Capitalism from which the concept of free markets is derived in our system is not free, never has been and never will be. second, free markets don’t exist outside of national identities 9 i won’t even attempt venture into the nuance of that comment) and most likely shouldn’t. afterall, the freedom exhibited by the financial system populated by millennials has proven to a rather bankrupt system of mercantilism in which accountability is shifted to others —
Ohh a repetitive trait — eschewing accountability.

What is killing the US with respect national identity, cohesion and economic power is no country on earth practices free racketeering as one might like to imagine. The Europeans are notoriously consumed by the need to protect their citizens — hence the formulation of the EU. So oif by “free markets” you mean capitalism — fine. But if you mean the schema of economic free for all — stop living in econ theory 101.
2. The site you reference starts out by decrying generalizations — then proceeds to use the very generalizations which the author claimed were nonexistent attributes of millenials. But more importantly, there’s not a single aspect of life that anyone who was not a millenial could not identify with since the advent of the “new economy”. The one, two and three step employment opportunities that helped the young are not as plentiful as they one were. We bargained them away in NAFTA and WTO bids in the belief that by sharing said employment — “Free trade” — we could buffer some issues, illegal immigration is just one example. It did not work. Gradually in the name of “free markets” we have sent our balance sheets overseas making bundles for “free marketers” and overseas markets and downsizing the US economy as we have increased spending — government spending, much of it in an attempt balance out the losses. Mistake. And I have to admit to some accountability for it. I had no idea that our corporate wold had become so divorced from the country. So my grumpiness about loyalty to country and countrymen is not merely a millennial directed concern. I didn’t take long to figure the country was being used as a spring board to seel her out. On that score, I am on your side — we should cease all immigrant labor, in every area and hire citizens – taking the economic hit and the realignment. we have plenty of diverse citizens in need of work – including millenials. But of course taking such a position means one has to give up their grand illusions about global prosperity happening to orrow for a slower and more orderly process. But my responsibility is to my fellow citizens as my family before any foreigner — regardless of how old and frustrated I may be. When I got out of the military, I lived in my car. And spent my nights outside the carpet cleaning company I worked for and was still arrested for loitering, by two women cops in the rain — and I have no doubt plenty of others could tell tales of life’s struggles in the new economy, that gets newer every year.
But this country is not going to improve by further selling it out in the name of “free market” capitalism. We will continue to be taken advantage of without a thank you.

I am believer in capitalism. I think it works, very well, but it cannot be left to its own devices as incidents as 2007/2008 reminds us — oversight is mandatory. As it refuses to regulate and hold itself accountable for error.
————————–
3. US military service is honorable. It is an honorable profession. It is a lesson in service for a cause greater than self. I nor anyone else is going to spill illusions about military service being pie in the wonderland. The service will for the time being be led by leaders, whose judgment and integrity is lacking — that has always been the case always will be the risk for anyone in service. The are men and women in the military who lie, cheat, steal, undermine, conspire and any number of illnesses one finds in public life exist in the military. I can tell you, that by and large most men in service have service to country in mind, even if they serve for that college degree or benefits. It’s a very empty pass to complain about bad leadership — an ever existing possibility. And while for a breif time, i discouraged volunteering for military service at the present time. We have a standing military for good reason — we need young men to serve – and that service is a sacrifice in my view despite the benefits. I don’t support its gradual move towards private or mercenary force out for higher as it becomes increasingly umoored from citizens. I support a draft.

4. love means sacrifice. That does not mean you or the society should commit suicide.
Stop bad mouthing anger — it can be the fuel for justice and change. In fact, while anger has been leveraged against blacks in-particular . . .
5. Besides immigration and military pet projects which the have had a deleterious effect on US society – especially employment there are two other unique groups that massively impacted life in the US. No two groups have advanced and deconstructed life more than women and homosexual advocacy — much of which is based on half truth or whole false narratives of the place in US life. They have become sacred cows of sorts – but I will at least introduce the matter – because I am an idiot — my age is showing perhaps. And it’s high time whites stop blaming blacks for what has been a white and immigrant cabal with cuts outs, exceptions, lowered standards and preferences for that field is owned by whites, not blacks. The impact on employment and the deconstruction on family has had massive negative impacts. L’est someone accuse me of misogynistic intent — I have successfully worked with and for women — for more than 20 years. I like women, but I am not going to pretend the obvious so as to be enamored by homosexuals or women. And doubtful many want to have relations with a woman more than myself, but this is not about that. It has been a reckless deconstruction and reckless remedy.
__________
Since the millennials haven’t engaged much in righting the supposed wrongs they have inherited, it’s safe to say tour not really serious about corrective action. For, example, it is the west and the east that have contributed to the damage done as contended is climate change theory. Yet, the west marches happily along reaping the benefits of the same and changing nothing but in such incremental tids as to have little or no impact – save but to any local. But the powerful est and east worlds are saddling the lest responsible with ineffectual, expensive processes designed to jeep them from advancing as millennials demand they should.

____________
“We can look back at fifty years worth of catastrophes created by the US government trying to fix someone else’s problem.”

Welcome to life. We inherit our past and that means we own it. Looking back is required in going forward with wisdom. Looking back is required in making course corrections and avoiding catastrophe’s. It pays to lean the correct lessons., but not learning any lessons at all is far worse. You want to blame me for 200 years of discrimination — fine — do something about it.

Don’t tell me what a rotten scoundrel I am for denying black people their due and then proceed to import a host foreigners making it that much more difficult for those to get theirs. For all of the complaints about diversity, millennials are very keen on undermining the diverse citizens with foreigners — seems an odd remedy to me.

And you want to saddle the previous generation – with hypocrisy — ohh, here’a a mirror.
_______________

Brief history lesson on how the US acquired the southwest.

The Mexican Government couldn’t get Mexicans to inhabit the region in enough numbers to keep native americans in check/oppressed if you prefer. But there were these eager US cities – well former citizens: criminals, escapees, failed politicians, hunters, farmers, slave owners who were eager for something of their own. Even if they had to become Mexicans to get it. So the Mexican government obliged. A couple of caveats: learn the language, learn and obey Mexican laws, become Mexican citizens and no slaves. After all the Mexicans were intelligent enough not to simply hand over their confiscated Indian territories to a bunch of roughians and nomads. But Mexico didn’t enforce these caveats on the new comers. So the new comers set about making Mexican land a reflection of the land they has just left. Eventually, one Mexican leader got fed up with what was essentially a land grab and set about to correct the matter — Neither he nor General Cornwallis remembers that a nap during war could be a problem. Hence the Republic of Texas soon to be the united state of Texas, as soon as the US figured out the Mexicans weren’t going to take it back. The former land skirmishes between the rep of texas soon became land skirmished between the US and Mexico. As in the Ukraine and everywhere else, land skirmishes can become full blown wars — Mexico lost and as a consequence the US bought the land we now call California, New Mexico (generous and foolish that), Arizona, etc. So much for, “to the victor go the spoils.”

We have what we have purely as result of lousy immigration enforcement. There’s already a war in play, and it’s a war that mexico doesn’t intend to lose again.

Fortunately, I am not so bitter as to give away my country — though the idea is tempting. Here, China, India, Japan, and of course — here Mexico —-

Though tempting to see as comeuppance —

No sale.

#24 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 16, 2018 @ 7:45 am

this EliteCommYbc. should be this — wholly unintentional EliteCommInc. resubmitted via the correct ID — excuse me.

#25 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 16, 2018 @ 7:46 am

Excuse my windiness and bad writing — old age . . .

” . . . what a grumpy response to a nicely written article. You might be showing your age here?”

Grumpy with a side of bitterness. Laugh. You neglected whute bigot in your inquiry. And of course, it’s not the content that matters, it’s my age. Have news for you youngster, I would have given the same response ten years ago, twenety years ago, and thirty years ago. Age has nothing to do with it.
_______
Now maybe my age is getting in the way, but it was my understanding that the article is making acse about millenials. Usually when one makes said case, their intent is either to inform or persuade, possibly both. In either case, it is an article to convince one of something. In response:

1. I am not persuaded
2. I am not convinced
3. I am not even sure I am more informed but it is confirmation of one position
No sale. Absolutely no sale.
______
Frustrated perhaps, convinced absolutely, that millennials are as described self centered and destitute of any actual sense of what it means to be a citizen. That is not the fault of one’s parents, that is a choice out of fear to be accountable and therefore responsible for the land you inherit.

Fear or accountability, note your response here . . . a sentence in no manner responding to the content or the import of the issues i mention either individually or as they mat relate to each other. What is your primary response — to what you assume is my mental or emotional state. In other words, I am too old, stupid and no doubt white, for you to consider the issues and respond — but merely the typical millennial — your old and mean and frustrated. If that is the best you have to offer — here’s a short cut to any issue: Just say, “Climate denier”.
_______________
“I could be angry at previous generations, because of their intractable faith in free markets, the bottomless appetite . . . held by the US was an short term anomaly (or a gods way of recognizing path to American superiority), I don’t find this inter generational tension to be helpful.”

Laughing. Nothing like spouting off about endless greed, and then praising “free markets”. But first, let’s take your assumptions about my views on the economy. I am of stunned by the mind reading and supra knowledge you have about my economic views.

1. Capitalism from which the concept of free markets is derived in our system is not free, never has been and never will be. second, free markets don’t exist outside of national identities 9 i won’t even attempt venture into the nuance of that comment) and most likely shouldn’t. afterall, the freedom exhibited by the financial system populated by millennials has proven to a rather bankrupt system of mercantilism in which accountability is shifted to others —
Ohh a repetitive trait — eschewing accountability.

What is killing the US with respect national identity, cohesion and economic power is no country on earth practices free racketeering as one might like to imagine. The Europeans are notoriously consumed by the need to protect their citizens — hence the formulation of the EU. So oif by “free markets” you mean capitalism — fine. But if you mean the schema of economic free for all — stop living in econ theory 101.
2. The site you reference starts out by decrying generalizations — then proceeds to use the very generalizations which the author claimed were nonexistent attributes of millenials. But more importantly, there’s not a single aspect of life that anyone who was not a millenial could not identify with since the advent of the “new economy”. The one, two and three step employment opportunities that helped the young are not as plentiful as they one were. We bargained them away in NAFTA and WTO bids in the belief that by sharing said employment — “Free trade” — we could buffer some issues, illegal immigration is just one example. It did not work. Gradually in the name of “free markets” we have sent our balance sheets overseas making bundles for “free marketers” and overseas markets and downsizing the US economy as we have increased spending — government spending, much of it in an attempt balance out the losses. Mistake. And I have to admit to some accountability for it. I had no idea that our corporate wold had become so divorced from the country. So my grumpiness about loyalty to country and countrymen is not merely a millennial directed concern. I didn’t take long to figure the country was being used as a spring board to seel her out. On that score, I am on your side — we should cease all immigrant labor, in every area and hire citizens – taking the economic hit and the realignment. we have plenty of diverse citizens in need of work – including millenials. But of course taking such a position means one has to give up their grand illusions about global prosperity happening to orrow for a slower and more orderly process. But my responsibility is to my fellow citizens as my family before any foreigner — regardless of how old and frustrated I may be. When I got out of the military, I lived in my car. And spent my nights outside the carpet cleaning company I worked for and was still arrested for loitering, by two women cops in the rain — and I have no doubt plenty of others could tell tales of life’s struggles in the new economy, that gets newer every year.
But this country is not going to improve by further selling it out in the name of “free market” capitalism. We will continue to be taken advantage of without a thank you.

I am believer in capitalism. I think it works, very well, but it cannot be left to its own devices as incidents as 2007/2008 reminds us — oversight is mandatory. As it refuses to regulate and hold itself accountable for error.
————————–
3. US military service is honorable. It is an honorable profession. It is a lesson in service for a cause greater than self. I nor anyone else is going to spill illusions about military service being pie in the wonderland. The service will for the time being be led by leaders, whose judgment and integrity is lacking — that has always been the case always will be the risk for anyone in service. The are men and women in the military who lie, cheat, steal, undermine, conspire and any number of illnesses one finds in public life exist in the military. I can tell you, that by and large most men in service have service to country in mind, even if they serve for that college degree or benefits. It’s a very empty pass to complain about bad leadership — an ever existing possibility. And while for a breif time, i discouraged volunteering for military service at the present time. We have a standing military for good reason — we need young men to serve – and that service is a sacrifice in my view despite the benefits. I don’t support its gradual move towards private or mercenary force out for higher as it becomes increasingly umoored from citizens. I support a draft.

4. love means sacrifice. That does not mean you or the society should commit suicide.
Stop bad mouthing anger — it can be the fuel for justice and change. In fact, while anger has been leveraged against blacks in-particular . . .
5. Besides immigration and military pet projects which the have had a deleterious effect on US society – especially employment there are two other unique groups that massively impacted life in the US. No two groups have advanced and deconstructed life more than women and homosexual advocacy — much of which is based on half truth or whole false narratives of the place in US life. They have become sacred cows of sorts – but I will at least introduce the matter – because I am an idiot — my age is showing perhaps. And it’s high time whites stop blaming blacks for what has been a white and immigrant cabal with cuts outs, exceptions, lowered standards and preferences for that field is owned by whites, not blacks. The impact on employment and the deconstruction on family has had massive negative impacts. L’est someone accuse me of misogynistic intent — I have successfully worked with and for women — for more than 20 years. I like women, but I am not going to pretend the obvious so as to be enamored by homosexuals or women. And doubtful many want to have relations with a woman more than myself, but this is not about that. It has been a reckless deconstruction and reckless remedy.
__________
Since the millennials haven’t engaged much in righting the supposed wrongs they have inherited, it’s safe to say tour not really serious about corrective action. For, example, it is the west and the east that have contributed to the damage done as contended is climate change theory. Yet, the west marches happily along reaping the benefits of the same and changing nothing but in such incremental tids as to have little or no impact – save but to any local. But the powerful est and east worlds are saddling the lest responsible with ineffectual, expensive processes designed to jeep them from advancing as millennials demand they should.

____________
“We can look back at fifty years worth of catastrophes created by the US government trying to fix someone else’s problem.”

Welcome to life. We inherit our past and that means we own it. Looking back is required in going forward with wisdom. Looking back is required in making course corrections and avoiding catastrophe’s. It pays to lean the correct lessons., but not learning any lessons at all is far worse. You want to blame me for 200 years of discrimination — fine — do something about it.

Don’t tell me what a rotten scoundrel I am for denying black people their due and then proceed to import a host foreigners making it that much more difficult for those to get theirs. For all of the complaints about diversity, millennials are very keen on undermining the diverse citizens with foreigners — seems an odd remedy to me.

And you want to saddle the previous generation – with hypocrisy — ohh, here’a a mirror.
_______________

Brief history lesson on how the US acquired the southwest.

The Mexican Government couldn’t get Mexicans to inhabit the region in enough numbers to keep native americans in check/oppressed if you prefer. But there were these eager US cities – well former citizens: criminals, escapees, failed politicians, hunters, farmers, slave owners who were eager for something of their own. Even if they had to become Mexicans to get it. So the Mexican government obliged. A couple of caveats: learn the language, learn and obey Mexican laws, become Mexican citizens and no slaves. After all the Mexicans were intelligent enough not to simply hand over their confiscated Indian territories to a bunch of roughians and nomads. But Mexico didn’t enforce these caveats on the new comers. So the new comers set about making Mexican land a reflection of the land they has just left. Eventually, one Mexican leader got fed up with what was essentially a land grab and set about to correct the matter — Neither he nor General Cornwallis remembers that a nap during war could be a problem. Hence the Republic of Texas soon to be the united state of Texas, as soon as the US figured out the Mexicans weren’t going to take it back. The former land skirmishes between the rep of texas soon became land skirmished between the US and Mexico. As in the Ukraine and everywhere else, land skirmishes can become full blown wars — Mexico lost and as a consequence the US bought the land we now call California, New Mexico (generous and foolish that), Arizona, etc. So much for, “to the victor go the spoils.”

We have what we have purely as result of lousy immigration enforcement. There’s already a war in play, and it’s a war that mexico doesn’t intend to lose again.

Fortunately, I am not so bitter as to give away my country — though the idea is tempting. Here, China, India, Japan, and of course — here Mexico —-

Though tempting to see as comeuppance —

No sale.

#26 Comment By sglover On May 16, 2018 @ 1:58 pm

@LouisM:

Pat Buchanan and others have warned for decades that the US, Canada, Western & Central Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are all under a covert war by subversive cultural Marxists and the end of the rope is nearer than the neoliberal and neoconservative warmongerers would let anyone admit.

So what? Buchanan’s spent the last two years cranking out unintentional comedy, andlessly thrashing and flailing to hold off this simple, galaxy-scale truth: Trump made a sap out of him. Somehow I have difficulty seeing old Beltway Pat as even moderately observant, let alone prescient.

But one should consider the source, so — were you seriously expecting the Age of Trump to be ushered in by some kind of ideological purge of the universities? How very Red Guard of you, commissar! Smash left deviationist wreckers everywhere!

#27 Comment By bt On May 16, 2018 @ 6:10 pm

“We’ve become a nation of spectators, and whether you supported or opposed these wars overseas since the 9/11 attacks, civilians are sitting in the bleachers since they have “no skin in the game” as Basevich stated in his book”

————-

Don’t overlook the fact that the draft was abolished precisely because our soldiers were not sufficiently enthusiastic about fighting the good fight in Viet Nam.

It was designed to de-couple war-making from the citizens to allow us to keep doing wars when the wars aren’t popular. So we have a ‘professional military’ now, a mercenary army. They work for pay, and they do as they are told.

If citizens don’t want to fight these wars, you should take that as a sign that the wars may not be worth fighting. There WERE a lot of enthusiastic volunteers after 9/11, but W quickly took that war in a catastrophically poor direction and laid millions of lives and a few countries to waste. And anyone who can go from trashing the Afghan/Iraq war hawks while simultaneously discussing how we need to fight ISIS with our troops on the ground is a demonstration of how insane and magically forgetful certain people on are certain subjects.

If you are an ‘anti-war’ person, the top priority should be to reinstate the draft and do away with our current paid/mercenary armies. That’ll fix a lot of what’s gone wrong with our approach to international relations. It would hopefully make extinct war hawks like Lindsey McCain, because they’d never get elected if our children were all equally exposed to the hazards of the marches to war that we keep setting out on without good reasons or strategies.

#28 Comment By Fran Macadam On May 16, 2018 @ 7:05 pm

I don’t think folks are rejecting altruism, precisely, more that they are considering the altruistic excuses for the elites’ wars as nothing more than propaganda – as has been shown, up to now, blatant lies.

It’s too bad that although you can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but not all the people all the time, it’s still been sufficient up until now to fool enough of the people, enough of the time.

That should prove as sufficient of millenials as any previous elder cohort.

#29 Comment By Charlieford On May 22, 2018 @ 10:13 am

Don’t be so sure. I had my college students–who are somewhat younger than millennials–read a packet of materials on interventions and the Syrian civil war (a balanced mix of pro- and con-) and write a response, and to my surprise nearly 100% of them advocated for US intervention.

To be fair, they’ve never had a chance to seriously consider all the factors, because they haven’t ever been taught the history. Most of my students are unaware when they get to my classes that we’re still at war in Afghanistan, and most are only vaguely aware that we ever were. The Iraq War is completely absent from their knowledge base–it, too, doesn’t get taught. It’s very rare for any of my students to even have much understanding of the Vietnam War.

Only a tiny minority of students get to take classes in recent US history or the history of US foreign relations.

So, in typical American fashion, we are raising a next generation for whom the recent past is a tabula rasa, and they’re going to be good and ripe for manipulation when the conditions arise, just as the youth were in 2002-03.

Don’t underestimate how deeply encoded a penchant for action, Messianism, Wilsonianism, call it what you may, is in our national DNA. We remain who we’ve always been.