Democrats & Liberals Archives

Where are we going? Where have we been?

Last night I called my parents for our weekly “chat”. My mother and I talked about an upcoming trip back to my parents’ place that my wife and I are making soon and when we’d finished, I asked her to hand the phone to my pop. Usually I’ll get a golf report, weather update, or some gardening advice from my father but last night the conversation quickly turned to Howard Dean. Honestly, for the first time I felt that my father and I agreed on a big issue. Growing up we’d always been very opinionated and, of course, neither one of us was wrong. One of the first phrases out of my father’s mouth regarding the current situation in Iraq was “Viet Nam” and we began discussing the current disillusionment of U.S. peacekeeping forces in Iraq. A veteran of the Korean War, my father pointed out that he never would have been allowed to express any disillusionment during his time in the Navy. Honestly, I’m disillusioned as well and really unsure of what to make of the current world environment.

Should I go out and protest against the U.S. occupation of Iraq — especially when we haven't finished the job we started in Afghanistan? What about the nameless, faceless "advisors" who are serving in Colombia, and other South and Central American countries, fighting the failed War on Drugs? What about North Korea? What about Iran? As we (Americans) face an election in 2004, I fear that the aftermath of September 11th is going to be with our children's children — maybe even longer as they face overwhelming budget deficits, increasing unemployment, and a collapsing Social Security system.

But where does that leave us today? Many Americans are growing concerned about the events that are unfolding around us, yet many choose not to act. I never really understood why voting shouldn't just be a privilege but a right until I listened to my father. I'd like to think that the old, stereotypical complacency of Gen X has given rise to a new activism and I'm hoping that the 2004 election will be a chance for us to unite for the change that this country really needs.

Posted by huxley75 at June 26, 2003 10:14 AM