The dumbest generation?

A new book came out last year by Mark Bauerlein with this title:

The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30)”

A similar theme could be used about conservative Republican elected officials. Forget Democrats or liberal or so-called “moderate” Republicans—their abilities don’t matter as much because they aren’t attempting to overthrow a failed status quo. The left already controls the K-12 public school system, most colleges and universities, and most of the media and entertainment industry.

My complaint continues to be with those I agree with on the issues—those who claim, at least, to stand on the side of us who see government as the problem.

Friends accuse me of “bashing” those who are my allies. They use the “you can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar” line to argue that I’m taking the exact wrong approach if I wish to persuade.

I would point out that my complaint dates back to the second Reagan term and has intensified through the decades as the political and governmental situation has deteriorated. It’s actually only in recent years that I’ve been public with my criticism of those we elect. It’s not easy to watch the decades pass while our leaders fail to do their jobs.

In a nutshell—talented conservatives in important public offices continue to squander the power of their offices and under-utilize their personal abilities.

Back to the Mark Bauerlein book mentioned above. The Amazon.com page includes an excerpt from a review and a few quotations praising the book. Just changing one phrase and it’s apparent that a similar book could have been written about our political class.

From Booklist:

“It’s an irony so commonplace it’s become almost trite: despite the information superhighway, despite a world of knowledge at their fingertips, the younger generation conservative political class today is less informed, less literate, and more self-absorbed than any that has preceded it.”

I’ve admitted previously that it’s dangerous to make judgments about the inner geography of another individual. But year after year passes with no discernable learning taking place among those elected officials who claim to support the GOP platform.

But tough times require tough leaders—and it’s high time those elected realize they’re not getting the job done. Getting elected and reelected isn’t enough.

The men and women who hold important public offices are running out of excuses for their failure to help build a political party (the GOP) and help move public opinion in support of the right policy solutions.

It would be easy to list names of people in our own General Assembly who claim to be conservative yet rarely speak out. Our Congressional delegation isn’t any better. Dating back to the Dennis Hastert Speakership years, no one in that bunch has impressed anyone who is honestly measuring Illinois public opinion.

Just to name one issue—our Congressional delegation’s collective failure to communicate with their home state regarding the War in Iraq during its difficult years is hard to forgive.

But there is good news. Some baby steps are now finally being taken. Both our Illinois GOP senators and our Republican Congressional caucuses have proposed the outlines for budgets better than what the Democrats have offered.

It’s a start. Now they ought to do the necessary work of selling. Also, they must help build the GOP. Since they are talented people with almost unlimited information at their disposal, they can’t claim ignorance. As I’ve noted in the past, many conservative would-be activists are just waiting for the right leadership and a credible effort to enlist in.

Up next: Psychoanalyzing conservative elected officials.

©2009 John Francis Biver

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