The Grievance Generation - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Grievance Generation

For 25 years we have pandered to our children and now we are witnessing the bitter fruits.

Whiny college kids now feel entitled to march in the streets screaming obscenities or taking over the university president’s office. And for what? Feeling slighted? Having their feelings hurt? Talk about rebels without a cause.

I’ve traveled to many campuses in recent weeks on a lecture series and have seen the tempest first hand. ‎Many of the kids are open minded with inquiring minds. They appear to be a minority.

They are shouted down by the intellectual thuggery of the left.

These students are angry at the world. They can’t deal with the stress of being told the polar ice caps are melting or that there is racism or sexism or as John Lennon famously put it: “this-ism, that-ism.” By the way I confronted a new grievance on campus last month. I was accused of “ableism” because I spoke of the virtues of high achievement, which evidently is offensive to the low achiev‎ers.

When I spoke of the “lunatic” climate change ideas that preside on the left these days, I was accused of being unfair and insensitive to the mentally ill. And the more I think of the economic insanity of the climate change agenda, the more I think they’re right. ‎So I hereby apologize to the mentally ill.

When I ask the liberals what they want, a typical response is a “radical transformation of the economy” to reduce income inequality, racism, sexism. Government will command these changes to achieve this transformation. These are young Stalinists who are willing to suspend almost every basic freedom and civil liberty and confiscate whatever they feel entitled to for “the greater good.”

They’re on a roll having already successfully removed university presidents and faculty for the sin of being insufficiently responsive to their latest grievance.

At one recent visit to the University of Massachusetts I asked a few kids what their plans were for Thanksgiving. They practically spat at me for even mentioning this white supremacy holiday that only trivializes and glorifies the genocide of the native Americans by the Pilgrims. Wow. Sorry, I brought it up, especially in your “safe space.” If they had their way, I would be sentenced to six months of sensitivity training.

I can’t help contrasting these campus attitudes with a recent meeting I had with a group of soldiers who had returned from Afghanistan. These brave ‎men and women risked their lives everyday. They had real bullets shot at them, not the verbal ones that the campus leftists find so offensive. They have genuine and in some cases life-changing injuries — ringing in the ear, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and broken limbs.

They served so that the leftists on college campuses who day after day remain sheltered in their cocoons and protest the wounds to their fragile psyche of having to listen to a point of view they disagree with. The horror. How do the little darlings go on? Maybe they will do all us a favor and stay there and never graduate.

Can you imagine the tyranny you would bring upon yourself by actually hiring one of these self-righteous complainers? Within a month they’d be slapping you with a lawsuit for not having a transgender bathroom. And you’ll be thinking: Right, but did you actually finish that assignment I gave you? Employers tell me despondently that the Millennials are by far the highest maintenance generation they’ve ever seen. One recruiter recently told me: “They need their hands held, they demand affirmation, they are forever whining about their feelings. We really don’t have time to deal with their petty grievances.” Ironically, when I graduated from college in the early 1980s they called us the “Me Generation.”

Who’s to blame for all of this? Alas, we are. The parents who caved in to every instant gratification demand our kids had, arranged “play dates” for them, showered them with daily positive affirmation, and gave them timeouts rather than spankings. Our schools are to blame for labelling them “gifted and talented,” and awarding them towering trophies for finishing in 6th place so as not to damage their self-esteem. The college professors who corrupt their minds with hate America ideology and now the administrators who cave into their every petty demand.

Worst of all are the successful Americans who well-meaningly think they are being charitable by giving their money to the very universities that are indoctrinating these kids with nonsensical ideas. Why? ‎Just stop. Society would be better off if you just burned your money.

Yes, I admit that these complaints are made of every generation. But this one seems seriously off and we made it this way. A generation that has grown up in more affluence and personal freedom than any other in history has been taught to hate the free enterprise wealth-creation process that gave them what they want in the first place. A generation that has been drilled since pre-kindergarten that the highest virtue in life is tolerance has suddenly become the most intolerant in history.

Have a happy Thanksgiving. There. I said it and I’m not taking it back.

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