The more we learn about the Left’s efforts to unmake America, the more disturbing it looks. And while I still believe that the culture can withstand the assault, I get why some are beginning to wonder if the species will survive.
Check this out — Gallup reports that 10.5% of Millennials and a stunning 20.8% of Gen Z respondents claim one of the 70-odd “identities” that isn’t heterosexual male or heterosexual female. Compare those numbers to responses from Gen X (4.2%), Boomers (2.6%) and Pre-’46ers (0.8%).
Why would that be?
Now look — if you’re inclined to argue that it’s because of fluoridated water, GMOs, soy, weed, cell-phone radiation, chemtrails or any other cockeyed theory, let’s just say that I won’t be your most receptive audience. I don’t buy any of that, simply because there’s no credible evidence supporting it.
Stow your theories and humor me. Take another look at those numbers. What do you see?
The younger the group, the higher the percentage of non-traditional responses. Relatively speaking, and in terms of life experience, those are children.
Right up there with death and taxes is the certainty that kids will rebel against authority. Every generation bucks tradition. Every generation takes delight in appalling their elders. Mine did it and so did yours. It’s always been that way, and the nature of each rebellion is shaped by a given generation’s popular culture during their teens and 20s.
Pop culture of the ’60s and ’70s, for example, served up The Sexual Revolution to my contemporaries and me. “Free love” and all that. Sexuality is essential to all youth rebellion, and we’re seeing it play out again — but with a twist.
Born into a sexually traditional binary culture, today’s kids — fanned by fads and facilitated by a handful of emotionally stunted adults still obsessed with sticking it to The Man — can choose any of six dozen identities guaranteed to shock their parents. Like rabbits and cable channels, those identities will continue to multiply.
The good news? As happens with all expressions of youthful rebellion, the long line at The Sexual Identity Smorgasbord is temporary. There’s no way that fully 20% of Gen Zs and 10% of Millennials are something other than inherently straight — and I mean no way.
Despite the numbers who now affirm that they’ve adopted this or that identity (and superficially play the part), I can say with confidence that there are very few practicing androgynes, gender outlaws, masculine-of-centers and polygenders in The Real World.
This, too, shall pass. Being shallow and contrarian gets old after a while. Costumes will be deposited quietly at the thrift store. Poor decisions will be surgically repaired if at all possible. Affectations will fade in favor of conduct that attracts substantial people, relationships that last and work that pays.
As my generation discovered, there just aren’t enough head shops, waterbed stores and organic farms to employ us all. Fortunately, those businesses can always count on the fact that some people never do grow up.
Social media is gonna complicate things for the current crop of rebels, I will say that.
Return to Gallup in, say, 20 years and check those numbers again. You’ll see a natural (and significant) decline in non-traditional responses, reflecting age, experience and maturity — that’s a promise.
So that solves (or at least attempts to explain) the whole bowling-for-sexual-identity thing. You’re welcome. But we’re still left with a problem, of course — a big problem, one that in the long run is much more serious than what I just discussed.
Even if a rebellious kid gets past his or her notion of identifying as (whatever), that child is still a card-carrying member of a desperately soft generation — a great many of whom (though not all) are detached, entitled, easily discouraged and even more easily offended, unable to cope effectively in The Real World.
Say it with me: “Kids these days….”
“It’s easy to call these kids ‘snowflakes,’ but where do you suppose they came from?
“We are the clouds from which the snowflakes fell. We are the ones who gave them trophies just for showing up. We’re the ones who told them that their feelings were more important than their actions, and that their dreams would come true if they simply followed them. Now, we are confronted with millions of dissatisfied young adults with no tolerance for beliefs that conflict with their own, and no realistic understanding of how life actually works.”
Rowe isn’t saying that they’re not snowflakes — he’s calling us out, you and me and society at-large, for denying our role in creating them.
He goes on to identify what these soft, incapable kids are missing — and that’s character. And he puts the blame for the character deficit squarely on “our country’s current obsession with ‘safe spaces'”:
“You can’t build character in a ‘safe space.’ You can only build dependence and entitlement, and you don’t have to look very far to see the results.”
Our job, as parents and as communities, is to raise children, not to please them. We should spend more time challenging than pacifying. Discomfort and risk are part of life, and it’s best if a kid becomes acquainted with them early.
A tough adult is a productive adult. Want to create a tough adult? Be tough on the kid.
It’s the only way.
Even if parents do everything right at home, kids still will be swayed by peers, teachers, media, well-meaning relatives and more — and not always for the better. Those influences will try to undermine everything a parent does, believe me. Then what?
Mike Rowe again:
“If I were calling the shots, I’d take a stand against the ‘safe space’ movement and everything it embodies. And I’d do it in the most public way possible.”
“Someone has to challenge the insipid belief that safety is the most important part of living. Someone has to challenge the idea that feelings trump achievement. Someone has to challenge the idea that ‘crying closets’ on campuses, designed to console stressed out students who just can’t handle their finals exams (or the outcome of a presidential election), will produce a responsible, productive adult.
“It’s not enough to simply ignore bad ideas. The safe space movement needs to be confronted….”
Parents need to go to the mat for their children, to bring the pain (figuratively) to any person or institution that doesn’t support our raising tough, capable, resilient, independent, patriotic kids.
It’s the only way.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.