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Logan’s Run for President

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned what follows here in this space before, and I hate to repeat myself, but it has particular relevance now. I'd hate to be one of those people who repeats a story over and over to the same audience; on the rare occasions I do I feel acute embarrassment and worry about creeping senility. I know people who otherwise seem sharp and aware but will repeat a story before 12 hours have passed, and it's very difficult to feign interest when they do. But bear with me on this one—I think I'm on to something. 

Who is responsible for 99% of all technological advances? Who is it that initiates cultural shifts and improvements in our quality of life? Who invents things, solves long-unsolved problems, innovates, creates, elevates, and shakes up the status quo? Young people. Brains firing rapidly and energetically. It is axiomatic in the "hard" science community that if you haven't made a major breakthrough by the age of 30, you're basically through and may as well take that position in the physics department of some cow college on the windswept prairie. 

Who, on being dissatisfied with a situation, expends time and energy to change it? Who takes to the streets to express their dissatisfaction, who sacrifices their freedom and well-being in service to a larger cause? Who believes so strongly in their ideals that they will give their very lives in pursuit of their realization? 

Hint: they don't have AARP cards.

And yet the people we install in positions of power, the ones we allow to make the decisions that affect our health, welfare, and security, our ability and potential to prosper, our pursuit of the happiness promised to us by the founding fathers, are used-up, burned-out, mossbacked, hidebound, dust-farting fossils who wouldn't recognize or entertain a new idea if it bit them on their wrinkled old asses. Their best days are behind them, their ideas about how things should be locked into place under administrations of yore whose policies have no more relevance to the modern era than do the practices of the Pony Express. 

Although the conservatives are by far the worst offenders, clinging as they do to their wistful notions of a bygone America that is not, in fact, based in reality, and predicated upon the subjugation of women and minorities (it may be true that in 1957, a white male could provide for a family on the proceeds of a single job based on products sourced, produced, and sold here in the USA, but it was necessary for a significant portion of the populace to be relegated to menial positions or no position at all to realize it), not even the "progressive" Democrats with all their accrued "experience" and "wisdom" seem to grasp the obvious fact that the reason they are able to live so far beyond the effective range of usefulness is because of young people. 

In finally conceding to the obvious admitting that specifics of "race" and gender do not, per se, entitle one to any more opportunity than anyone else, we are in the midst of new and challenging social and economic paradigms, and we need forward-thinking, idealistic, fearless, innovative, intelligent young people to meet those challenges and reshape the government and the country. We need streamlining and efficiency, and we need most of all to realize that spending $100,000,000 every year to support a greedy, nest-feathering, opportunistic cabal of thieves and liars (Congress) is a criminal waste of money better spent on improving the lives of the people. The fact that people engaged in the most pointless, do-nothing sinecures since the lickspittles installed in the courts of bygone monarchs make $200,000 a year while honest, hardworking people break their backs and still have to go without is sufficient motivation for bloody revolution, in this writer's humble opinion. 

Donald Trump, being not only long past being useful at anything besides polyp production never really capable of anything worthwhile anyway, is also pathologically narcissistic and would love the rest of the world to die with him. This is why he foments conflict, exploits and wastes precious resources, and actively works to destroy the environment. He doesn't care about the present generations, much less future ones, and their health and welfare concern him not one bit. Despite his absurd claims to be the greatest president ever, he knows that history will regard him as the venal, stupid, dishonest, rabble-rousing piece of shit that he is, and so his only recourse is to eradicate history by obviating the future. If he can't be the best president, he can at least be the last one. 

Politicians in a system like ours are, in the main, by definition opportunistic tools of the corporations that control this country. Make no mistake, it is Capitalism that is the operative descriptor of the USA, not democracy. The list of actual public servants motivated by a genuine desire to serve the people is shorter than a dwarf's inseam. None of these mendacious old farts establishing policy are capable of vision or taking the long view because, let's face it, the older you get, the less you care, and if you are such a twisted, misguided, and foolish person that you actually want to go into politics, chances are you never really cared about anyone but yourself anyway. 

Youth is the answer. Spirited, motivated, energetic young people unafraid of giving offense and capable of looking beyond the present moment. We need a Fidel, a Che, a Hamilton, and if you put someone like that into the mix I will not only man the phones and knock on doors but throw bombs if necessary. I support Bernie's goals and platform 100% but let's face it, the man is no tactician and hasn't the vigor to make it happen. 

I'm not saying that we should grind up old people into cat food or anything; we make great teachers and storytellers and young people love it when we recount the good old days of milkmen, 25c gas and smoking in the doctor's office. Some may accuse me of shitting where I eat, given that the sum of the staff, contributors, and readership's aggregate age would confound current calculating technology, but we are perfectly capable of doing what we do and still viable in our present circumstances. We are the ones who criticize. This is where wisdom and experience is practically applied. 

Capitalism is by definition unsustainable and bound to eat itself, and the republic has been rotting from the inside since about 1820. We don't need wisdom, we need change, a top-to-toe housecleaning and a return of power to the people. Stop nominating and electing dinosaurs and start pretending that this country and its people have a future.

2 Comments

  1. K. May 20, 2020

    I’m late to respond here (been busy teaching and telling stories), but I beg to differ with some of your assertions: “99% of ALL technological advances”? Acknowledging that 87% of statistics are made up on the spot, could you cite your sources? I’m with you on the basic premise of your argument, but aside from dismissing the revolutionary contributions of Archimedes, Einstein, Galileo, DaVinci and others, a blanket endorsement of youth over age overlooks some critical factors. (Full disclosure: I am in the “antique” demographic myself, but I work daily with learners of all ages.)

    Innovation requires imagination, a perilously endangered quality of mind in our screen-addicted consumer culture. Even that dinosaur Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge, since (to paraphrase him again) the solutions to our problems will not come from the same kind of thinking that created those problems. Yet most of the “innovation” I’ve witnessed in the last 25 years seems bent on furthering the consolidation of wealth and division of the classes, not on creating more equitable (or even survivable) conditions for all. What’s needed is a new definition of human prosperity; perhaps this pause in global business-as-usual will bring it about.

    But youth alone is no assurance of forward-thinking virtues. Every opportunistic fossil in Congress was once a spirited, motivated and energetic young politician. Or a corporate lobbyist: they’re pretty interchangeable. The entrenched corruption in congress is the real disease; rich, old, white men are simply the most common vector points because they’re what the system was built around. A change in our entire world-view is called for, one that puts people ahead of profit, values science and history, strives for precision and clarity in communication. You’re absolutely right that we won’t get that from the status quo.

    I am with you on electing a new line-up, but the “game” has to change before we put our fantasy league together. The future needs youthful idealism and innovation- YES!- but also whatever wisdom and experience can still be gleaned from our elders. “Youth are the future”, but we ALL are the present: let’s work together to re-imagine our world. -K.

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