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Ignorance is on the rise: Who will stop it?

By Bernadette Hogan, News Editor
On May 1, 2015

Photo courtesy of Nation of Change

     Have you ever read the children’s story “The Pied Piper of Hamelin?” The fairy tale where a bizarrely enticing man blew a magical pipe and lured all the children of the town of Hamelin far away never to be seen again? So entranced by the bright promises of the tantalizing music that they entrusted their security to a deceitful stranger without second thought or consternation. 

     My seemingly archaic reliance on this child’s tale is not without direction, for I have witnessed similar behavior performed by the youth of America time and time again. We live by hollow slogans such as “Live for today,” “YOLO” or “do what you want” without any thought of possible consequences of the future. We shun the wisdom and experiences of our elders and often do not bother to question status quo or invest in educating ourselves on current issues or problems going on in the world.

     But I ask myself, when do we wake up from this pipe dream? When do we assume our inevitable roles as the future guardians of “the land of the free and home of the brave?” At what time do we transgress the brink of expectation by putting values into practice, solidifying principle as a lifestyle, just as our mothers and fathers did before us? It is our unwillingness to deal with an inconvenient truth—so caught up in the piper’s trance, social media, our own egos, etc., that we don’t recognize the dangers right in front of our noses. I fear that we balk at this responsibility, and as a result, ignorance is on a rise.

     The Independent Journal Review, a website that analytically divulges relevant issues via entertainment sources and social media, brought to my attention a certain video posted by college news outlet, Campus Reform. The video is titled “Why students are ‘Ready for Hillary’ just because she’s a woman.”

     Students at the University of Washington were asked the question, “Why do you think Hillary Clinton would be a good president?” and their answers shallowly hinged on a biologically unalterable—and irrelevant might I add—fact: gender. Teens pledged their allegiance to the former Secretary of State because “she’s a woman and I am too” or “it would be nice to see a female president.” And why would it “be nice” to see a female in the oval office? To lend license to apparent diversity and change? But what is diversity then, if we judge it on so superficial a standard as identity, without any consideration to what a person believes or does? What if a man said he was voting for a candidate simply because he is a man, or if someone voted for a candidate because they are Chinese American? It is absurd that voters accredit nonessentials over prior accomplishments or emulation of good morals and standards.  

     When pressed to give other reasons for support of Mrs. Clinton, these interviewees failed to offer a satisfactory answer. Why? Because they had no idea what Clinton is all about. No knowledge of past action, policy, party platform—nothing, zip, zed. This is scary.

     Regardless of Clinton’s convictions, it is so very wrong to put the fate of a country in the hands of a person whom you know nothing about. The temptation of following what’s popular or falling for bias in the media is a constant threat. But if the media is showcasing what looks like a strong, independent, qualified female, AND femininity is on the high rise, wanting a woman in office seems pretty cool right? But this is group mentality for you—base and animalistic. And it is terrifying to see the masses at work. The amount of people that judge content and quality of character by a simple, unalterable trait such as sex is mind-boggling. Furthermore, double standards are at work. It is sexist to vote for a man, but not for a woman because "there have been male presidents before." What this video ultimately proves to me is that people cannot be bothered with the state of affairs in our country, and more importantly, they live in a bubble. A bubble that is about to implode.

     When will the youth of America awaken to realize they are the successors? WE are the generation to come, and we have been babied far too long. The sad thing is, and to paraphrase Sir Edmund Burke, evil prevails when the good people do nothing. The evil I am talking about is the insipid darkness of obliviousness. When my friends say, "Oh, I don't want to get involved, I don't know anything about politics anyways," or better yet "I don't like politics," I find that as a poor excuse for lack of responsibility for one's actions. It is negligence by choice. They discard the privilege of voicing their thoughts, a privilege men have fought and died for.

     This is exactly why people that have no business running a country get public support—despite scandal, back and forth flip-floppery, injustice, no commitment to the truth. They ride on the passions of the many—the passions of a raging, tormented sea of those whose minds are unknown even to themselves. A people whose refusal to educate themselves breed a tradition of apathy, feeding into a dream world at the brink of shattering. We only realize our mistakes in hindsight bias. We care not for the advice of those who have lived through hard times and made it out alive. This is how great nations die a slow death. And we sit back and watch the tide roll in.

     Yes I may sound cynical, but if cynicism can be used as a tool to propel the hearts of many I will use it. My father once told me, “A good life and a good republic need healthy discord and discussion from its citizens,” and he’s absolutely right. Dialogue and argument, discussion of the issues at hand are the best things for implementing action. We live in a country built on a truth which advocates the liberation of the minds of men and women. It is a crime to let such fruits wither and perish. We will be strong enough to overcome—we already are.   


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