Generation critical to nation’s future

On the North American continent, just north of Mexico and south of Canada, lies a land ravaged by war. This nation, known as the United States of America, is caught in a constant struggle between the forces of the red elephants and the blue donkeys. Every two years, the conflict intensifies as both sides choose champions who face each other in arenas of public domain. These champions defeat their individual opponents and take their places among the great rulers of the nation.

This epic battle has been going on for centuries. Generations rise, take up the mantles of their preferred zoo attraction, fight for their colored animal mascot and then pass the torch to the next generation.

Our generation, too, is part of this cycle of politics. In not too many years, we will be responsible for deciding who gets elected to governmental positions. Some of us will undoubtedly be the ones in those positions, guiding the course of America’s future. With the very course of history in our care, we, as a generation, have a responsibility to be educated when it comes to political and social issues.

However, our generation may not be ready for that responsibility.

Many of today’s youth couldn’t care less about politics and real-world issues. After all, who cares about U.S. Representatives getting caught in sex scandals (i.e. Anthony Weiner) when that dress is totally blue and gold and everyone on Twitter needs to be told that? And oh-my-gosh the new Jimmy Choos just came out and I NEED them … what was that about ISIS?

This generation has removed itself from political interest by absorbing itself with entertainment and fads. There is a phrase for this type of phenomenon: “panem et circuses.” This is Latin for “bread and circuses.” It refers to a situation where the people of a nation have their basic necessities (bread) and enough entertainment (circuses), so they don’t care about what goes on in the world outside their comfortable little lives. The government is free to do whatever it wants take away rights, seize more and more power and the people don’t care because they’re eating bread at the circus.

I’m not saying that the government is evil and is trying to control us by providing us with Starbucks and “American Idol” while they set up their brainwashing machines, but the concept that the nation will degrade without the vigilance of the people is an undeniable truth. The government is run and, at some level, maintained by the people, and if the people don’t care, the government is free to expand in power and degrade in virtues as much as it wants to.

George Washington once said “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is a force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

Like fire, the government could burn out of control or perhaps go out if our generation isn’t there to manage it. It is our responsibility to be educated on political topics, so we can make sure we can tend that fire well.