THE BLOG

Open Letter to "Generation Screwed"

05/25/2011 12:15 pm ET
  • Peter Smith Author, 'A Porch Sofa Almanac' and 'A Cavalcade of Lesser Horrors'

I was at a meeting earlier this week. An important meeting, where the Saint Paul Police met with local activists about next year's Republican National Convention.

There was passion. There was idealism. There were a few insane rants, and a couple just plain crazy people. But, other than two or three avowed anarchists, there weren't any young people.

There were people in their 40's and 50's. There was one guy, well into his 70's, who has been protesting since Eisenhower was in the White House. But there was virtually no one in their 20's or 30's, except those anarchists.

The protest movement needs people in their 20s and 30s (ever try throwing a tear gas canister back with a torn rotator cuff?). And people in their 20s and 30s need the protest movement.

Indeed, if and when America craps out completely, it will be because of the suffocating political apathy of our current crop of young people.

Let's call them what they are - Generation Screwed. Here, in an effort to light a fire under their asses, is an open letter to a bunch of people who don't have a clue that the other shoe is about to drop:

Dear Generation Screwed,

Where are you?

Haven't heard or seen anything from you while the Bush Administration drives you, your children, and your children's children into perpetual war and debt.

Don't see you at meetings. Don't read you on the op-ed pages. Can't even find you on the Internet, Nothing. Not even a text message. What's up with that?

And you really are screwed, you know. These jokers are borrowing the money to fund the war in Iraq, and putting your name down as co-signer. They're not raising taxes to pay for it. They're borrowing it.

Who do you think is going to pay all that back with interest? Not George Bush. Not Dick Cheney. Not the huge international corporations who are profiting from the war. Not the Baby Boom. No.

You are. You're going to pay it back. You and your children and your children's children. Some estimates say it'll be more than $2 trillion before they're through with Iraq.

A billion is a thousand million. A trillion is a thousand billion. That's one million million. $2 trillion is $2 thousand billion - $2 million million. Not counting interest.

You are so screwed. You're screwed eight ways from Tuesday, Monday through Friday and time and a half on weekends. You're screwed at school, on the job, in the housing market and at the store. And when you get old, you can look forward to spending your golden years screwed, too.

So where are you? Down in the basement trading bong hits and playing Guitar Hero?

Dumb and apathetic is no way to go through life, let alone unscrew yourself. If you don't get off your collective asses and get active, it's over.

Let's go.