As the dust settles after the midterms, several things have become abundantly clear. One is that the anticipated Red Wave—the rejection of the Biden regime’s unprecedented assaults on Constitutional freedoms over the last two years—failed to materialize. Another is that young voters between the ages of 18 and 29 turned out in larger than usual numbers to endorse that regime’s policies.
Some may recall the scene in Animal House in which, during Omega House fraternity initiations, the character Chip Diller is told to “assume the position” and is then hit with a wooden paddle. After each hit, Chip yells enthusiastically, “Thank you, Sir! May I have another?” Gen Z’s apparent response to three years of controlled demolition of their freedoms and opportunities betrays a Stockholm syndrome-like affection for one’s abusers that is breathtaking.
No demographic suffered more devastating consequences from the shutdown of economic activity, social interaction, and schooling as a result of the completely unnecessary “health emergency measures” enacted with the justification of the Covid pandemic. College students were required to pay full tuition in order to attend class “virtually” on a computer screen, cut off from all interaction with their peers. Young people were denied graduation ceremonies and celebrations.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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Those entering the workforce were required to endure a ruinous shutdown of economic activity and enforced “social distancing” (both based on zero science) that severely diminished prospects of gaining professional experience or establishing a solid financial foothold and starting a family. Millions were forced to accept injections of an experimental (and, as we now know, highly dangerous and completely ineffective) “vaccine” in order to resume some semblance of their normal lives and attend overpriced schools in person to obtain degrees quickly plummeting in marketplace value.
It is hardly an exaggeration to say a generation was lost to a fraudulent narrative about a disease engineered with the funding of their own government and from which they themselves were at virtually zero statistical risk—all of which was known as it occurred by many of the medical and political authorities responsible for these catastrophic policies.
Those policies were especially catastrophic for Gen Z. Soaring rates of suicide, substance abuse, mental illness, and all-cause mortality (likely attributable to the Covid vaccine) are well documented in the wake of Great Reset policies implemented with the onset of the pandemic. At the formative age when previous generations of young Americans were expected to “question authority,” Gen Zers opted for rote compliance with “health emergency mandates” that had no Constitutional justification and severely curtailed basic liberties, such as freedom of assembly and freedom of religious practice, accompanied by a crackdown on speech thinly disguised as an effort to combat “misinformation.”
As a result, in the Land of the Free, an entire generation was conditioned to accept unquestioningly the arbitrary mandates and judgments of medical and political authorities at the risk of being socially ostracized and of facing academic and economic cancellation for holding unapproved views.
One of the saddest stories of this election cycle is that this cultural conditioning appears to have been almost entirely successful. Twenty-seven percent of young voters between the ages of 18 and 29 cast their ballots in 2022, which was the highest youth voter turnout in almost three decades. In battleground states, turnout was even higher, exceeding 30 percent. Strikingly, it was the only age group that broke heavily Democratic, with over 60 percent voting in favor of the party in power.
That may fairly be viewed as an astonishing outcome, given the remarkably oppressive policies implemented over the last two years. But it should not be all that surprising. The plain fact is that the leftist ideological march through the American cultural and educational establishments has long been complete. The fact that transgender self-identification has gone from a statistical anomaly among young people when the Supreme Court regularized gay marriage in 2015 to a popular and growing trend today is itself testament to the unrivaled cultural influence of the hard Left with the young.
The relatively big youth turnout for the Democrats also testifies to the success of recent Biden Administration ploys leading up to the election, dismissed by conservatives as blatant pandering designed to distract attention from a dismal economic record and soaring rates of crime. Biden’s student debt forgiveness program was widely panned as a cynical effort to win the youth vote that would surely be seen for what it was: an unconstitutional attempt to buy off a core liberal constituency at the expense of hardworking Americans.
Likewise, the absurd fearmongering in the wake of the Court’s decision to overturn Roe was widely regarded on the Right as a patronizing attempt to play on the ignorance of young people who might be convinced that simply returning the right to regulate abortion to the states would result in eliminating access to abortion entirely.
Remarkably, Senator Lindsey Graham, never known as a pro-life stalwart, proceeded to feed into the Democrat fearmongering narrative by introducing federal abortion legislation, giving Democratic candidates for federal office a target after the Court had given the GOP the great gift—after almost 50 years—of taking the issue out of the federal purview by putting regulation back in the hands of the states, where it belongs.
Nevertheless, ahead of the midterms, the conservative world was pretty confident that these Democratic election themes would fail, especially in the face of a rapidly deteriorating economy, rampant crime, and populist anger over the radical gender and critical race theory ideologies. But those “cynical ploys” were, evidently, quite effective where it counted—among America’s Gen Z voting demographic.
The question is why? How is it possible that young Americans could be so susceptible to the naked political bribery of student-loan debt forgiveness, the unsophisticated fearmongering about abortion, and the obvious social propaganda of radical gender and race ideology? The short answer is that, thanks to the Left’s victory in the Culture Wars, the majority of young people lack the basic cultural and historical knowledge to provide a context for understanding current events and the way the world works and are unaware of any other way of seeing reality.
It doesn’t help that religious practice has collapsed with Gen Z, with a record 32 percent fully identifying as atheist. Arguably, this is the most important aspect of this demographic’s susceptibility to the propaganda of the secular liberal regime in America and their corporate media megaphones. The belief structure of traditional religious faith always provides a robust inoculation against the ruling class narrative, which is why aspiring totalitarians make a point of targeting religion.
The belief structure of our secular ruling class and their propagandists in the media could be loosely termed “scientism,” a blind and unquestioning trust in the pronouncements of official scientific and medical authorities and the politicians who exploit that trust for their own power. Scientism is, of course, distinct from a trust in the scientific process, which by definition entails open debate and the constant challenging of hypotheses.
With economic structures, social mores, and conceptions of national identity all in flux, and trust in once-respected institutions (including the Church) waning, scientism provides an outlet for the natural human impulse to rely on some authoritative source of truth and interpreter of reality on which we can confidently ground our daily existence. A form of practical atheism, scientism reflects Chesterton’s maxim that when man stops believing in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing, he believes in anything. As such, Gen Z is particularly defenseless against the onslaught of propaganda designed to bolster the power of those in charge, particularly through social media “influencers.”
Clearly, more and more young Americans are so thoroughly immersed in the zeitgeist that they can’t think critically with perspective about the propaganda they are being fed by the political, medical, corporate, and media authorities. The American education system and the Borg of a monolithic and degraded pop culture has so thoroughly destroyed the capacity for critical thinking that we have produced a generation of meek, passive rule followers, a generation of easily-led political and cultural zombies. Perhaps it is appropriate that they are referred to as Generation Z.
The dumbing down and politicization of American schooling is so pervasive that the bulk of a generation has internalized a passive posture toward those who call the shots, and they have been conditioned to keep their head down and adopt the groupthink if they know what’s good for them.
A basic prerequisite for revolting against tyranny is recognizing it—and recognizing the propaganda machine that perpetuates it and supports it. Today, mainstream sources of information and cultural influence are so limited by the corporate-political ruling class, and the range of acceptable opinion so narrow, that many young Americans no longer possess the ability to see the biases, conceits, and corruptions of their own era.
The World Economic Forum’s mantra for the Great Reset of our society, “you’ll own nothing and be happy,” sounds like a pretty good deal to many young people who yearn for stability and don’t realize that this insidious aspiration is the polar opposite of the American Dream as it was understood by generations that preceded them.
They have striven heroically to stamp out the vestiges of racism, sexism, and Christian patriarchy that still remain in American society (and in themselves), resulting from what they have been told is a uniquely shameful national history. The struggle is finished. Gen Z has won the victory over themselves.
They love Big Brother.
[Photo Credit: AFP via Getty Images]