Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content


Hi Politicalprof! I was wondering if you could explain something to me. I have been seeing a lot of disgruntled, *older* Republicans posting statuses and political cartoons about how my generation is “the lamest generation” and how we all expect to just be “given” things. This doesn’t seem to make sense to me because, as a senior college student, I don’t hear anyone saying, “I’m not worried about finding a job because the gov’t will take care of me”. Explain the Repub. thought process, please?


Sorry for the repost: a reblog request…


Ah, the young whippersnappers question!

I’d say there’s a bit of style divide going on, one I recognize as well. On the one front, as you note, your generation is going to be entering a tough economic period. Yet, as you further and rightly note, there is no great call for socialism or communism from people your age — you just want a chance to build your life the way others before you have.

So far so good. 

However, speaking now as an old guy, I am struck at how dependent so many of my students seem — on mom and dad, on me, on their phones. I get endless questions about what the readings are for the units on the exam … even though they’re on the syllabus and posted on line on the course website. I get questions about where my office is … even though that, too, is listed on the syllabus. I get lots of questions about what, specifically, I am looking for on a course project when part of what I want you to do is to explore and think and come up with your own answers that you then defend with evidence.

And we won’t even talk about all the times that I hear students walk out of class to call their mothers to ask about their next assignment, or to schedule a reminder call about going to work, etc.

Add to this the fact that all your technology “pushes” information to you (alarms, alerts, attention signals) in instantaneous fashion, all while you both walk AND DRIVE with your heads buried in your phones, and it is easy to imagine that you don’t want to take initiative on your own and want everything handed to you RIGHT NOW. (Don’t get me started on texting, etc., in class.)

It’s a matter of what you notice and then think about. You don’t think all the texting, etc., is remarkable, because it’s all you’ve ever known. I, by contrast, think it makes you appear self-involved and insensitive to the world around you. By contrast, I don’t think about the struggles you will face building your life, because I have already been through my struggles to build mine. You, of course, can think of little else.

It was probably always this way. But now you can tell the world about it on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Google+, and, oh I don’t know…. Tumblr.  I couldn’t.

But know this: when you’re my age, you’re going to look at people your age today and go, “jeez. these kids today.” 

I guarantee it.