Cultivated Hopelessness: Americans Lose Faith, Patriotism
A recent survey of Millennials and Generation Z reveals troubling cultural trends.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” —Ronald Reagan
If the trends measured by a recent survey continue, the nation itself is in its sunset years. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll reveals that Millennials and Generation Z have significantly less belief in the importance of patriotism, faith in God, and conceiving children. And despite the fact that most Americans remain satisfied by the state of the nation’s economy and their personal finances, a majority of respondents are angry at the country’s political and financial classes, worried about the nation’s economic future, and what kind of country they are passing on to future generations.
“Four years ago, we uncovered a deep and boiling anger across the country engulfing our political system,” explained Democrat pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, which conducted this survey in conjunction with the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies. “Four years later, with a very different political leader in place, that anger remains at the same level.”
Horwitt’s Republican counterpart, Bill McInturff, was equally concerned. “There is an emerging America where issues like children, religion, and patriotism are far less important,” he warned. “And in America, it’s the emerging generation that calls the shots about where the country’s headed.”
It’s a decidedly less optimistic emerging generation. In terms of patriotism, nearly 79% of people ages 55-91 considered the concept important, compared to only 42% of Millennials and Generation Z, (those aged 18-38), who had the same outlook. With regard to religion, 75% of Baby Boomers maintained it was an important part of life compared to only 30% of Millennials and Generation Z. And the number of Baby Boomers who considered having children to be important was nearly double that of America’s youngest adult generations. And the overall number of people who considered having children important (just 43%) represented a 16-point drop from 1998.
Columnist Rod Dreher minces no words describing a future America that “is going to be childless, godless, and unpatriotic.” He continues, “Which is to say, there won’t be a future for that kind of America. Changing political leadership will not cause people to believe in God again, or desire children, or love their country more. These things go much deeper than politics.”
He knows where to place the blame: “The American liberal elites are destroying the country’s ability to sustain itself, and the conservative elites — including Donald Trump — are either utterly clueless about the nature of the crisis, or are flailing ineffectively in the face of it.”
Unfortunately, Dreher’s cynicism is not misplaced. The effort to indoctrinate America’s younger generations has been going on for decades. A quote courtesy of John Dewey (1859-1952), a man often referred to as the father of American education, is indicative:
“There is no god and there is no soul. Hence there is no need for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then the immutable truth is dead and buried. There is no room for fixed and natural law or permanent moral absolutes.”
As columnist David L. Rosenthal aptly notes, the vacuum created by the removal of so-called dogma and creed from education has been filled. “While promotion in public schools of faith-based ideology is supposed to have been prohibited, according to the Supreme Court of the United States, the faith-based ideologies of socialism, Marxism, nihilism, Islamism, Satanism, Darwinism, and others continue to be propagated in public schools,” he writes.
What Rosenthal doesn’t say is that the replacement of Judeo-Christian values with de facto progressive dogma and creed has made the rebuttal of that dogma and creed virtually impossible. Thus, for example, the same school nurse who must call parents if she believe a child requires some sort of medication can direct that same child to an abortion clinic without parental permission or notification, even as she must refrain from offering that child moral perspective regarding the termination of a life.
What about patriotism? In order to be patriotic one has to first believe in the concept of the nation-state. Is there any doubt that a globalist-dominated Ruling Class prefers open borders, unfettered multinational corporatism, and rule by “do as I say not as I do” elitists whose response to their own assertions the planet is headed for irrevocable disaster are belied by a record number of private jets to Davos for a global-warming conference, or the purchase of a $15 million seaside mansion on Martha’s Vineyard? Isn’t it clear their demands for gun control will never affect their own armed security, or that their policies that have afflicted the nation with crime- and homeless-infested American cities will never intrude on their own guard-gated communities?
Isn’t it becoming clearer every day that the nation’s justice system has bifurcated, and that the guarantee of “equal justice under the law” is becoming a euphemism? Isn’t clear that those with a vested interest in “fundamental transformation” have likened America First approach to “Russian collusion,” “white supremacy,” and “fascism?” Don’t the same elitists who bemoan the economic implications of our trade war with China blithely ignore the reality of national security impossible to separate from it — even as they are apparently intent on making an American version of that nation’s totalitarian-based credit score system to keep the “deplorables” in their place?
Unfortunately a certain level of nihilism among Millennials and Gen Z is justified. When push came to shove, they watched Wall Street get bailed out by Main Street. They’ve endured the future-wrecking debt accumulation engendered by what amounts to a College-Industrial Complex that demands degrees, even for jobs that don’t require one. And perhaps most important, due to the ubiquity of social media and technology, they’ve never known a single day of genuine, off-the-grid privacy in their entire lives.
That last bit is key. As stated in a previous column, access to social media should be limited to those over 18 years of age, and even more important, tech companies who are currently data-mining children as young as seven should be kicked out of America’s classrooms. In an age where one’s entire past now fair game, the digital trail produced by children too immature to understand the implications — in combination with tech companies intent on commoditizing all of humanity — is utterly unconscionable.
“It is time for churches, families, and communities of faith to have some very serious conversations among themselves,” Dreher asserts. “The signs of the times are written in flashing neon.”