In today’s episode, we’ll explore the words of a millennial who gets it. And then see if we can determine who started us down this path of hate America and all things she stands for. Edmund Burke once wrote, “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they may fail one by one…”. Those who hate America are building their ranks, and we must grow our ranks too. One podcast at a time, one conservative to another. We must stand up and be heard.
In case you didn’t know, I script my podcasts. I’ve had several friends suggest I would be better served speaking from the heart and recording my thoughts unscripted. I disagree. Scripting my episodes allows me to put the proper research into what I say. While I am known for my quick one-liners, it is my hope that this podcast is taken seriously and shared with other conservatives and liberals alike. It is only through discussion that America can survive. The path of squelching the masses through political correctness (or WOKE ideals) only serves to divide our nation. As Mr. Burke wrote, a divide nation will fall.
As a young man, I dawned a US Army uniform and served our nation. I was a military musician stationed with the 3rd Armored Division Band in Frankfurt, Germany, from 1986 to 1989. I am proud of my service and look back on those three years in uniform as some of the best in my life. I am a devoted husband of almost 29 years and was blessed with 2 step-children. I say blessed because the kids were grown when my wife and I married, and thus I figure I saved a couple million bucks having to raise kids! I share this to give perspective…take my words with a grain of salt. When I see kids in public with their pants down around their ankles, pierced in places I didn’t know you could pierce (let alone show in public), wearing jeans torn to threads, eating junk food, and vaping massive clouds of crap while words of disdain and hatred for America drip from their mouths—I get a little grumpy. But I am over 50, and thus my ideas don’t have merit, or at least that is what my grand-children suggest.
As a Gen X’er, who missed baby boomer status by four years, I often feel our country is going to hell in a handbasket, what with the way kids think these days. I have seven step-grandchildren, and all of them suffer from a dislike of capitalism and the American way. Sure they like their X-Box and iPhone, fast food, and crappy music. Still, they complain about everything, contribute almost nothing to society, never volunteer for anything, and demand more money in the workplace and lower prices at the market. What the hell?
Every now and again, a millennial pops-up and restores my faith that not all is lost. This letter I am about to read is one of those times. It is a letter from one millennial who gets it. Written by Alyssa Ahlgren and published on Alpha News back in April 2019 under the title, “Thoughts from a hipster Coffee Shop.” Here is that letter.
I’m sitting in a small coffee shop near Nokomis trying to think of what to write about. I scroll through my newsfeed on my phone looking at the latest headlines of Democratic candidates calling for policies to “fix” the so-called injustices of capitalism. I put my phone down and continue to look around. I see people talking freely, working on their MacBook’s, ordering food they get in an instant, seeing cars go by outside, and it dawned on me. We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we’ve become completely blind to it. Vehicles, food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose. These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we don’t give them a second thought. We are so well off here in the United States that our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average. Thirty. One. Times. Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards. Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon with one click and have it at our doorstep the next day, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful.
Our unappreciation is evident as the popularity of socialist policies among my generation continues to grow. Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said to Newsweek talking about the millennial generation, “An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, came of age and never saw American prosperity.”
Never saw American prosperity. Let that sink in. When I first read that statement, I thought to myself, that was quite literally the most entitled and factually illiterate thing I’ve ever heard in my 26 years on this earth. Now, I’m not attributing Miss Ocasio-Cortez’s words to outright dishonesty. I do think she whole-heartedly believes the words she said to be true. Many young people agree with her, which is entirely misguided. My generation is being indoctrinated by a mainstream narrative to actually believe we have never seen prosperity. I know this first hand, I went to college, let’s just say I didn’t have the popular opinion, but I digress.
Let me lay down some universal truths really quick. The United States of America has lifted more people out of abject poverty, spread more freedom and democracy, and has created more innovation in technology and medicine than any other nation in human history. Not only that but our citizenry continually breaks world records with charitable donations, the rags to riches story is not only possible in America but not uncommon, we have the strongest purchasing power on earth, and we encompass 25% of the world’s GDP. The list goes on. However, these universal truths don’t matter. We are told that income inequality is an existential crisis (even though this is not an indicator of prosperity, some of the poorest countries in the world have low-income inequality), we are told that we are oppressed by capitalism (even though it’s brought about more freedom and wealth to the most people than any other system in world history), we are told that the only way we will acquire the benefits of true prosperity is through socialism and centralization of federal power (even though history has proven time and again this only brings tyranny and suffering).
Why then, with all of the overwhelming evidence around us, evidence that I can even see sitting at a coffee shop, do we not view this as prosperity? We have people who are dying to get into our country. People around the world destitute and truly impoverished. Yet, we have a young generation convinced they’ve never seen prosperity, and as a result, elect politicians dead set on taking steps towards abolishing capitalism. Why? The answer is this, my generation has ONLY seen prosperity. We have no contrast. We didn’t live in the great depression, or live through two world wars, or see the rise and fall of socialism and communism. We don’t know what it’s like not to live without the internet, without cars, without smartphones. We don’t have a lack of prosperity problem. We have an entitlement problem, an ungratefulness problem, and it’s spreading like a plague.
With the current political climate giving rise to the misguided idea of a socialist utopia, will we see the light? Or will we have to lose it all to realize that what we have now is true prosperity? Destroying the free market will undo what millions of people have died to achieve.
My generation is becoming the largest voting bloc in the country. We have an opportunity to continue to propel us forward with the gifts capitalism and democracy has given us. The other option is that we can fall into the trap of entitlement and relapse into restrictive socialist destitution. The choice doesn’t seem too hard, does it?
Reading Miss Alhgren’s words, I am compelled to holler out, “Amen, sister!”
Over the previous 16 episodes of this podcast, I’ve highlighted the problem is actually us…conservatives, I mean our nature. The way we live life. We don’t complain much when we do complain, we fix the problem and move on. Our tolerance for stupidity is pretty high, and we, more often than not, step out of the way when someone is (metaphorically-speaking) going to jump off a cliff. We’ve learned throughout life that hard lessons are the best teachers and thus avoid shielding friends and family from the harsh truth of life, and we stand aside and allow life to happen. OK, we may be coddling our kids a bit, but that is a different episode. Right now, I am referring to the conservative nature. We don’t rally in the streets with signs and demand our voices be heard…The left knows this. Saul Alinski wrote an entire strategy guide about our weakness, and the students of his lessons are now running our country. We can no longer fall prey to our conservative nature, we must venture out of our comfort zone and speak our experience. This podcast is my effort to do just that.
Let’s look at Alyssa’s words a little closer. Millennials have ever only known prosperity. They have no contrast. My mom lived through the depression. My dad and his family migrated from Mexico to America in the ’30s. I grew up with endless stories of America’s struggles. I did not have an unlimited allowance. I did grow up in a nice neighborhood with plenty of food on the table, but most of the time, when I asked for something, the answer was no. In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed millions die of starvation in Ethiopia (on TV, of course). Tens of millions flee communism and tyranny. As a soldier, I walked the parameter of the Berlin Wall. I witnessed the guards on the East Berlin side armed with automatic weapons watching me back through binoculars. I’ve seen evil and despair, and the toll both bring to the human body and soul. My grand-children have not.
I remember when cable news hit the air. We all wondered how they would fill a 24/7 news cycle. It didn’t take long for us to figure out the producers of the news would seek the worse of America to put on display for all to see. What is the line, if it bleeds, it leads?
Millennials complained about their plight over not being gifted with the latest PlayStation or smartphone. Mean-while, in India (the country with the second-highest population in the world, the average citizen makes about $1,670 per year or about four dollars and sixty cents a day. This is compared to the average income in America being $61,937 or about $170 a day. Sure we have poor people in America, but they live in cities where begging can actually produce a higher annual wage than what the average person makes per year in India. Think about these numbers for just a few moments. Someone can beg on any street in America and make nearly $8,000 per year. If one is to believe quora.com, someone begging on the streets of America can early $70 to $300 per day—depending on location and begin skills. Why do I bring this up? Because in India, people without money can’t beg for money because nobody else has spare cash they can part with. That, in my definition, is poor. While I am not advocating for anyone to have to beg to survive, the fact is throughout human history, poor people have begged for handouts, and good people gave what they could. If a country where the average income is $170 a day, Alyssa’s statement that kids today have never experienced anything but Prosperity.
Of my seven grandchildren, none of them received a paycheck from an employer until after they graduated from high school. Actually, only one of them seems to be making anything of themselves. My oldest grandson serves in the Army and is most likely going to make a career of it. I am proud of my grandson. I am proud of all my grandchildren, I just wish they had the eyes open like the author of this letter. But wait, there is good news on the horizon.
When I was in college, the idea of a student being conservative was odd…we should be liberal when younger and experience all the world has to offer. Still, woe is the 50-year old that doesn’t become a conservative. As we age, I believe we start to value what is mine is mine and keep your grubby hands off of it. The chink in the armor of this approach is; eventually, the person who migrates from liberal to conservative must become employees and start collecting assets and net worth. We only protect that which we had to work to acquire. Today’s Progressives are outright, suggesting a small stipend be granted every American. More than one individual running for President on the Democratic ticket have suggested American taxpayers dolling out $1000 a or a month to poor Americans. To a millennial who has only ever known ask and one shall receive, this is an ideal opportunity to be sixteen forever. Two of my grand-children would like nothing better than to do nothing but play video games all day every day. Wouldn’t it be great if America subsidized their habit? One could ask why did mom and dad allow their kids to get hooked on video games, but that is another episode. Today, let’s focus on what we can do about the plight we are in.
In my youth, when mom and dad told me no, go out and earn some money to buy that new toy…we called it tough love. Teaching responsibility was a valuable lesson. I would argue it is a critical lesson and one we must bring back. It is time to cut off your children from the family dole. It is time to turn off the news in the evening and play games and read books with your kids. It is time to get back to visiting museums and going on picnics to parks. We must teach our children to be self-sufficient and how to entertain themselves.
Think about this for a moment. If the average family has $170 a day to live on, how much effort does one have to really put into having fun? When I was a kid, it cost about $20 to get into Disneyland. It is now more than $100 for a ticket on a low-demand day on $135 on a peak-demand day. Now we just pay someone else to entertain us. When I was a kid, computers were only being developed, and I did have a Commodore 64. However, to get games, I had to program them in from magazine articles. If I was going to play anything on my computer, I had to build it…because my mom and dad were not going to spend $15 bucks for a video game. Life in America is easy…we don’t really have to do anything to have the time of our life…we only need to shell out a few hundred dollars. It is no wonder millennials today feel they are oppressed. They want to go to the movies, the virtual reality amusement center, and then sit at home vaping and playing video games. A simple weekend adventure could run about $300 to $800. If mom and dad don’t have the money to give little Johnny and Susie for a fun weekend with their friends, then the grand assumption is they live in the poor house and are being oppressed by capitalism.
The whole problem is our own fault. We created this mess. If you and your kids spent more time hiking and less time going to Disneyland, then your kids will be more inclined to take notice of the real world around them. I don’t need to tell you this. Still, the beauty of life is nature around us, not the virtual reality some programmer in India creates for our amusement.
And for God’s sake, turn off the news and get you and your children back to church!