Two Washington Post bloggers write today about the disillusionment of Generation X. You really ought to read the entire thing. It’s enlightening.
In the interest of full disclosure, and before commencing the following tirade, each of Your Gormogons is a card-carrying member of Generation X.
The bloggers’ thesis is thus: Generation X is disillusioned as a result of four failed social campaigns. The campaigns are: (1) War on War (or Give Peace a Chance, as they put it); (2) War on Drugs; (3) War on Stupidity (Education); and (4) War on American Greatness.
According to WaPo’s bloggers, Generation X was united in extolling the virtue of “peace, cooperation, diplomacy and understanding.” As ‘Puter has been taught to question, what’s the basis for that statement? Citation, please? Because ‘Puter’s anecdotal evidence shows that while there is certainly an appeasement wing of our generation, there is a large segment that hates the hippie-legacy “if only we could talk to them, they would understand and lay down their arms, which, as we all know, are only good for hugging” pap.
The complicating factor with the Iraq War (their cited example) is not the war itself, is that we did not fight to win efficiently. Winning, in military terms, should mean the destruction or unconditional surrender of one’s enemy. Victory may or may not result an entire country being destroyed. Don’t look at ‘Puter that way. He’s only reporting the facts.
Military personnel should not be deployed unless the rules of engagement are simple. (1) Kill the enemy. (2) Try not to kill civilians unnecessarily. (3) If the enemy eschews the rules of war and hides among the civilians, kill everyone until the civilians rat out the enemy. Harsh, yes. But effective. And if this were the way America chose to fight its wars, we may achieve the hippie-bloggers “give peace a chance” schtick more quickly. First, because most Americans would be loathe to deploy our military according to these rules except in the most exceptional circumstances (or support politicians who did so). Second, if America deployed its military might according to these rules, wars would be won or lost much more rapidly, leading to a quicker peace.
In passing, ‘Puter doesn’t even know what to make of the conclusory allegation that the Just War Theory’s standard has not been met. ‘Puter assumes that in the absence of the bloggers showing their work, they are full of it. A helpful hint to the bloggers: the Just War Thory leaves the ultimate decision to the prudential judgment of the relevant decisionmaker (in this case, Congress and the President), not to the hindsight of bloggers playing parlor games.
And speaking of wars, the War on Drugs disillusioned no one. I can think of no one who ever expected it to succeed (See? Even ‘Puter can play the anecdotes = data game!). In fact, it’s been every bit as successful as the War on Poverty, which is to say not successful at all. ‘Puter and two other Gormogons grew up in the Greater DC Metroplex at the height of the 1980s Crack Wars. Mayor for Life Marion Barry was in power, spending his days hitting the pipe and chasing down Redskinettes at three in the morning. Seriously. ‘Puter didn’t expect the War on Drugs to be anything more than window dressing, and a sinkhole for sending taxpayer funds to favored constituencies under the guise of doing good. And so it has been. Interestingly, WaPo’s bloggers raise the D.A.R.E. program, which leads us to their point three: education makes us dumber.
Listen to the keen lament of hippie-bloggers rending their garments! Sesame Street failed us! Kids do worse now against the world than they used to! We’re spending tons of money and nothing is getting better! Well, duh. This is anything but disillusioning. It’s a confirmation of what ‘Puter’s been saying about public schools for most of his adult life.
First, education dollars are spent to benefit adults, not students. The explosion in public education funding has enriched the lives of exactly one constituency: public sector teachers unions. It has abjectly failed students and society. In any other realm, failure is not rewarded with greater expenditure, it is punished by withdrawal of funds, which are then invested in a new idea to solve the problem. To hear the teachers union tell it, unless they are paid better than anyone else, our children are doomed to failure. Wrong. Higher compensation of teachers has not resulted in educational gains. In fact, quite the opposite.
Second, public schools cannot be expected to educate kids who don’t show up ready to learn. Teachers unions are correct about this. No matter how great the teacher, and how enriching the learning environment, if a child comes to school from a family that actively devalues education, the child is doomed. Put enough of these children in one school and the school is doomed. Get enought similar schools in one community, and the community is doomed.
Dysfunctional cultures, at both ends of the economic spectrum, have crushed the ability of the public schools to educate our children effectively. At the poorer end of the continuum, inner city culture tells kids that being educated is “white” and therefore wrong. On the richer end of the spectrum, do-gooder hippie moms have insisted that kids be valued and rewarded for simply showing up. Both world views make actual education impossible.
If America were serious about education, it would do what has been proven through over a century in America to work: adopt the policies and procedures of Catholic schools. Catholic schools single-handedly created educated American citizens from the poor Irish and Italians that polite society had written off completely. The Catholic schools continued to take all comers in with the inner city poor until recently, when lack of funding has caused them to curtail their efforts. Catholic schools work, and educate their students more cheaply than public schools.
And so the failure of public education leads directly to the bloggers last point, the War on American Greatness.
You see, America sucks. It’s all our fault. We killed the Indians. We dropped the only nukes ever used. We are evil incarnate. Stupid, stupid America. On second thought, maybe American education has succeeded. Succeeded in indoctrinating a swath of ‘Puter’s generation into the erroneous liberal shibboleth that American can do no good and is a nation in decline.
America is not great, so the mantra goes. We did not develop most of the medical advances in the world. We did not create the internet. Nor do we continue to feed most of the world with our exports. Nor do we protect the free world under the aegis of our unquestioned military strength. Nor do students from around the world fight for the opportunity to attend our many exceptional universities to study science and math. Nor have millions of illegal immigrants decided to risk their lives to sneak into our country.
Because, you see, we suck. We suck because we don’t kiss dictators’ asses. We suck because we insist that freedom is better than every alternative. We suck because we are successful and make other countries feel badly about themselves. We suck because our elites believe America’s suckitude to be true, and through the elites’ stranglehold on the education racket and the media, we are force-fed heaping helpings of their “America Is Evil” pablum.
In sum, ‘Puter’s Generation X is not disillusioned. We are hardened realists, created by years of Boomer hypocrisy and profligate spending. We learned how not to run a country by watching flower child Boomers make a hash of the Greatest Country on Earth (that would be America, hippies). We learned that dumbing down standards and tolerating intolerable behavior slowly erodes society’s bedrock. We taste the bitter fruit borne by absolving people of personal responsibility. We see the generations of poor children condemned to poverty by greedy educrats and teachers unions. We see the utter chaos created by entrusting people who have never had a real job with governance.
We are not disillusioned at all. We see things quite clearly, thank you very much.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.