I think that people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven’t tried that one for a while. Who knows, maybe it’ll work this time   George Carlin

When people ask me if I’m an optimist or a pessimist, I tell them I’m a cheerful pessimist. The words I live by are An optimist sees the glass as half full. A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. I look at the glass and say “Ewww! Somebody’s been drinking outta that thing!

It was only a few days ago that I sat down at this keyboard, and wrote about what it was that I thought separated the police sanctioned execution of George Floyd from all of the other black life tragedies we seem to see every time we turn on our goddamn televisions. I wrote of a few reasons why I thought that a confluence of conditions sadly made George Floyd the perfect man at the perfect moment.

And as I sit here again tonight, typing away, I continue to be in awe. In awe of the passion and resilience of the protests, now entering their third week, sure, but equally in awe of the speed with which real, effective change is already being undertaken  at the local and state level. George Floyd will not go down in history as a martyr to a cause, rather he will go down in history as an engine of social justice change, along the lines of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi.

But as I continue to watch the coverage of the protests, and see more and more interviews with the protesters, I realized something that not only stunned me senseless, but it also brought a feeling of confidence that the heart of this cheerful pessimist never thought I would feel. I realized that we’ve seen this before, and not all that long ago. The systemic reason for the outrage was different, but the outcome was strikingly similar.

Cast your mind back to the spring leading up to the 2018  midterm elections. Other than the almost daily outrages of His Dickishness, what was the overriding social issue going into that election. I’ll tell you what it was. It was 15 minutes of terror that changed forever the lives of the entire student population of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. It wasn’t the first mass shooting at a school, and sadly not the last. But the students of MSD decided that while they may have had to suffer through the nightmare, no other high school student or parent ever should.

Instead they used their innate social media skills, they activated, the organized, and they became a force to be reckoned with. Being young, innocent, and tragic, they were tailor made for the cameras. They coordinated national school walk outs to protest lax gun laws and the over sized influence of the NRA in Washington and state capitols. They reminded all and sundry that they were just about ready to vote for the first time, and they threatened dire consequences to those who fucked with them. And by the day after election day of 2018, Florida had passed gun legislation, other states were following suit, and dozens of NRA rated GOP House incumbents were filling out and updating their resumes.

Do yourself a favor. Over the next day or two, if you get a chance, watch some coverage of the protests still going on daily. Yes, the crowd is incredibly diverse. They are black and white, brown and Asian, rich, poor, male and female, gay and straight, the full spectrum of the American experience. But they’re also young, sweet Jesus are they young. Many of them are not black, and have never been poor or discriminated against, but that doesn’t matter. They see a grave injustice being committed, and goddammit, they want to inherit a better world than this one, so they are going to be the change that they seek in the world.

For the second time in two consecutive elections, I honestly believe that these young voters are going to have a major impact on the electoral results, and nobody is talking about them. These kids are motivated, they’re energized, and they’re paying attention to who is talking on their behalf. Hell, the first battle isn’t even over with, there has been no national gun control measures taken, and too many A rated NRA assholes yet to put out to pasture. And now they’ll carry the banner of racial equality and police reform in the other hand. And that’s just fine by me.

In fact, it warms the cockles of my heart, I have always believed that democracy dies when it is in an atmosphere of indifference. When people tune out of politics simply because they think that what happens in Washington no longer matters to them, or that they are powerless to stop things that they don’t like because they have only one vote, then widespread cynicism and indifference spreads. And when it does, it makes it easier for cynical politicians who have no business serving us to do what they want. But this new generation aren’t falling for that shit, they’re taking names, and then thy’re kicking ass. As the old song says, The kids are alright!

To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

2 COMMENTS

  1. One can only hope. And one can hope that after they get their sea legs they go on to lead our nation in a new direction not full of hate and division that trump and his swamp rats conjure up.

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