Apathy Wastes the Passion of Youth

We were watching the news yesterday when our oldest suddenly groaned. “And I thought George W. Bush was going to be the worst president in my lifetime,” he said.

Paul Manafort, it had just been announced, was to plead guilty and flip on Trump.

“Well,” I said, “at least you missed Nixon and Reagan.” This didn’t seem to be a particularly helpful comment.

Our oldest, I should say, is 31 years of age and hasn’t lived with us in 17 years. He left home at 14 to attend the Robert Louis Stevenson school in Pebble Beach. After that he was off to Eugene to study at the University of Oregon. And after that he bought a house there. All of which is to mention that he has not, by us, been indoctrinated in his opinions.

He is a graduate of an academically elite private prep school and is a university alum; he’s a homeowner who identifies himself as a banker–both the makings of a perfect young Republican, right? Wrong. He is also independent, a reader–and clear-sighted.

I think much of the country–essentially the youth–is veering toward this position: Trump is our worst president in a goodly long while. And, while the anticipated “Blue Wave” might never materialize, I would not be surprised if the youth this time votes Democratic in massive numbers.

At what other time in our history has a sitting president also been an unindicted co-conspirator?

A better question, in spite of the above, is if the youth will even bother to vote–Democratic or otherwise.

Apathy wastes the passion of youth.

Apathy elects Republicans.

And Republicans understand that. They depend upon a low voter turnout. But I suspect participation in this year’s election might be higher than Republicans are anticipating. Why? Because Trump is volcanically unbalanced. Because Trump is crass, cynical and full of himself. Because Trump bears scant respect for the rule of law. Because Trump is the Obstructor-in-Chief. Because Trump separates immigrant families. Because Trump pays off porn stars. Because Trump is a shameless liar. Because Trump diminishes the office with his serial Tweeting. Because Trump is the champion of nepotism.

Ask Jared.

Because Trump is the sheriff of tariffs, imposing pointless policy, hurting some Americans and forcing others to bail them out when they were better off in the first place. Because Trump is in the Russian Mafia. Don’t believe me? I invite you to revisit my column “Ladies and Gentlemen–the Iceberg” from February 1 of this year.

The information condensed and transcribed therein is what will eventually sink the Trumptanic.

But mostly because congressional Republicans won’t do their job as a check on this traveling Trump campaign chautauqua.

They are either too enamored or too afraid of him.

Either way, if congressional Republicans refuse their duty the federal government becomes an unbalanced two-legged bar stool. And the best remedy is to vote the rascals out.

Drain the swamp!

I am therefore exhorting the youth to vote in droves. And to vote for representatives who will honor their office and act as a check on the executive branch. I know it seems like with each election cycle somebody is bound to claim it’s the most important one in living memory. But this November’s just might be.

Unchecked, a president–of any party–might tend to become a tyrant.
We fought a revolution to get out from under this sort of thing.

We were watching the news yesterday when our oldest suddenly groaned. “And I thought George W. Bush was going to be the worst president in my lifetime,” he said.

Paul Manafort, it had just been announced, was to plead guilty and flip on Trump.

“Well,” I said, “at least you missed Nixon and Reagan.” This didn’t seem to be a particularly helpful comment.

Our oldest, I should say, is 31 years of age and hasn’t lived with us in 17 years. He left home at 14 to attend the Robert Louis Stevenson school in Pebble Beach. After that he was off to Eugene to study at the University of Oregon. And after that he bought a house there. All of which is to mention that he has not, by us, been indoctrinated in his opinions.

He is a graduate of an academically elite private prep school and is a university alum; he’s a homeowner who identifies himself as a banker–both the makings of a perfect young Republican, right? Wrong. He is also independent, a reader–and clear-sighted.

I think much of the country–essentially the youth–is veering toward this position: Trump is our worst president in a goodly long while. And, while the anticipated “Blue Wave” might never materialize, I would not be surprised if the youth this time votes Democratic in massive numbers.

At what other time in our history has a sitting president also been an unindicted co-conspirator?

A better question, in spite of the above, is if the youth will even bother to vote–Democratic or otherwise.

Apathy wastes the passion of youth.

Apathy elects Republicans.

And Republicans understand that. They depend upon a low voter turnout. But I suspect participation in this year’s election might be higher than Republicans are anticipating. Why? Because Trump is volcanically unbalanced. Because Trump is crass, cynical and full of himself. Because Trump bears scant respect for the rule of law. Because Trump is the Obstructor-in-Chief. Because Trump separates immigrant families. Because Trump pays off porn stars. Because Trump is a shameless liar. Because Trump diminishes the office with his serial Tweeting. Because Trump is the champion of nepotism.

Ask Jared.

Because Trump is the sheriff of tariffs, imposing pointless policy, hurting some Americans and forcing others to bail them out when they were better off in the first place. Because Trump is in the Russian Mafia. Don’t believe me? I invite you to revisit my column “Ladies and Gentlemen–the Iceberg” from February 1 of this year.

The information condensed and transcribed therein is what will eventually sink the Trumptanic.

But mostly because congressional Republicans won’t do their job as a check on this traveling Trump campaign chautauqua.

They are either too enamored or too afraid of him.

Either way, if congressional Republicans refuse their duty the federal government becomes an unbalanced two-legged bar stool. And the best remedy is to vote the rascals out.

Drain the swamp!

I am therefore exhorting the youth to vote in droves. And to vote for representatives who will honor their office and act as a check on the executive branch. I know it seems like with each election cycle somebody is bound to claim it’s the most important one in living memory. But this November’s just might be.

Unchecked, a president–of any party–might tend to become a tyrant.
We fought a revolution to get out from under this sort of thing.

6 thoughts on “Apathy Wastes the Passion of Youth

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  1. I sure hate to see the word “chautauqua” used in such a negative context. Travelling tent entertainment holds a rich place in American history, and the chautauquas were among the most principled and high-minded of the genre. Teddy Roosevelt called it “the most American thing in America.” Of course, some of the chautauquas (and some of anything) was dreck. Sinclair Lewis derided it as “nothing but wind and chaff and…the laughter of yokels.”
    On balance, I see the chautauquas (as opposed to some of the most exploitative Elmer Gantry style tent revivals) as representing America at its best: open-minded and inquisitive.

  2. I keep hoping the Valley Voice stops with the hyperbole, the exaggerated negativity on all things Trump. Regardless of what side you’re on , how is it that just about everything you write is about how horrible Trump is, to the point of repeating unproven bullshit that you believe because you want to. I swear, if CNN reported that Trump was the offspring of a rabid badger and a dingo…you all would take it as fact and say well that explains his dog-like viciousness. Another thing, claiming you had no influence on how your adult son see politics is funny, of course you didnt have to indoctrinate him, “elite prep school” says it.all.

  3. If he had been indoctrinated by that prep school he’d likely be a rabid fascist by now–and a gushing Trump disciple. My point is that he made up his own mind.

  4. Trump is a “member of the Russian Mafia”???!!!!. This article should have been signed, “Volcanically Unbalanced”. Why does Valley Voice print such hate filled nonsense? If Trump wins a second term it will because the average American , without the advantage of a elite prep school background , is clear minded enough to recognize mindless , hate filled articles like this one. By the way, Bush was the WORST president in a “good long time”. Endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with thousands of innocent American boys killed for NO reason.! Over $3 trillion dollars wasted on these wars (Brown University). Bush is a war criminal. I have no problem with Trump trying to get along with nuclear armed Russia and N Korea. Millions of lives potentially saved. We could do alot worse than our current president.

  5. Read my column “Ladies and Gentlemen–the Iceberg.” It’s not “hate filled nonsense.” Without slanting it, I streamlined and condensed some 60 or so pages of testimony.

  6. I have to agree with the comment that Bush Jr remains the worst president of recent history, not Trump. When you say worst, I would ask by what measure? Has the Trump administration hurt our feelings the most? Sure. Has the Trump administration committed crimes against humanity by separating children from their parents? Absolutely, but is it comparable to the decades work of devastation and regression the Bush administration intentionally and directly caused by lying the American people into fraudulent wars for political and profit gain? No.

    Honestly, I am grateful for Trump pushing the Republican party ideology to their logical conclusions of white supremacy and social Darwinism. The only worry I have is whether their capitalist benefactors and etsablishment Republican party members are willing to commit new acts of terrorism to distract the public again for political gain like Bush did.

    For all the parallels you may find between Trump and his Nazi Germany counterpart, remember that it’s the bureaucracy carrying out his agenda or even subverting it like that “steady state” NYT article so unapologetically bragged about. It’s the Republican party members prioritizing profits over people and racism and misogyny over equality.

    Trump would be nothing without the terrorist Republican party enabling him every step of the way. His policies will be a footnote in the history books but the malicious damage done by the Bush administration will haunt us forever.

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