It might seem strange to read, but to a certain extent, it is evident that SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (the PROTECT IP Act) has saved my generation from being portrayed as the paradigm of political disinterest.
Articles have been written that say, as "trophy kids," our parents have created the perfect storm. Fearing that we will be interested in only the superficial, brand names of life have been glamorized in movies (see: The Devil Wears Prada). For many, it seemed as if the Millennium generation was headed towards the brink of failure. I, myself, as a young person who follows politics, have shared in that fear as well.
But SOPA and PIPA saved us all from an eternity of criticism and poor stereotypes.
When Google blacked-out its logo and Wikipedia devoted 24 hours to raising awareness about the potential repercussions of passing SOPA and PIPA yesterday, the negative response that was generated from millions of Americans, many of whom were youth, was of a gargantuan magnitude. I read the tweets and Facebook statuses of friends and family members who so despised the word "government" passionately opposing these bills. So many of them were infuriated with the concept that lawmakers could potentially accomplish something so devastating.
And I couldn't have been happier.
Finally, it seemed as if the importance of engaging in political discussion "clicked" for many youth my age. The passion for argument that I find so enthralling -- and the thrill of affecting legislation that drives the direction of this country -- were shared by others my own age!
All it took was a little nudge.
What could be a better lesson than this for why America has become the great nation it is today? Yesterday exemplified a living case study of the beauty of consent of the governed. My generation was influential in the fact that by sun down, legislators were issuing statements that condemned the contents of the bills they had been supporting just hours earlier.
In a moment in time in which the 2012 presidential elections will allow for an entirely new generation of Americans to cast their votes, it has never been more important to be informed. Thus, SOPA and PIPA could not have had better timing.
Moreover, it was reassuring that those of my generation, some of whom will not be able to vote in 2012, were engaged, if just for a day, in political discussion.
Yesterday, we were able to evince that we are not solely confined to the degrading stereotypes that many believe us to illustrate. I only hope, however, that this is not a lonely occurrence. One of the elements of politics that, for me, makes the field so enthralling is its intrinsic inclination towards change. The stories that made headlines yesterday, for example, have been replaced with new accounts of controversy and decision-making gone awry today. While we are fortunate to have specialized political advocacy groups that battle such legislation every day, it is important that we, as individuals, remained informed.
Therefore, it seems as if SOPA and PIPA have saved my generation. However, if we do not act, we might find ourselves drowning under the waters of disinterest once again.