Timothy Egan, liberal New York Times reporter turned very liberal Times online columnist, thinks that Americans will be better off when the old, tired, hypertensive Tea Partiers depart the scene for good and let the lively youth take over saving the world, in "Save Us, Millennials
," also featured in Friday's print edition.
When an electorate is red-faced and fist-clenched, when the collective national blood pressure is 160 over 100, when the big issues of the day are mired in tired minds, it's time to turn to the great, renewable resource of any vibrant democracy: the kids.
The millennials, that echo boomer generation born after 1982, have not been heard from of late, ever since proving that they could pull away from their Facebook pages long enough to help elect a president.
We've been led to believe that the grumpy, the cranky and the bitter will drive the midterm elections in the fall. You would never know, with nightly images of jowly Tea Partiers and their inchoate discontents, that people ages 18 to 29 years old made up a larger percentage of the 2008 electorate than those over 65.
Because they gave their hearts to Obama, by an overwhelming margin, the young have a proprietary interest in this president. And now, at Obama's moment of peril, when people who are losing their heads want him to lose his, we need the cooler minds of a generation that grew up with endless wars and color-coded terrorist alerts.
After classily comparing Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell to a turtle, Egan plumped for the Obama-care provision that lets these brave, forward-thinking, independent-minded millennials stay like children under their parents wing until they're well into what used to be known as adulthood:
Let [Republican Rep. John] Boehner take away from millions of fresh-minted adults the provision in the new law that allows dependent children to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26.
Say, won't some of those helpful parents be old, tired, grumpy, and cranky themselves?
Egan sounded like he'd just as soon see old-time Republicans like war hero Sen. John McCain shuffle off the scene so the millennials can hurry up and let gays serve openly in the military:
Or look at the exhausted fight over gays in the military. More than any other generation, millennials see this as a nonissue. But a week ago Senator John McCain threatened a filibuster to keep gay men and lesbians from being able to openly serve their country in uniform. He is a man of his age.
Can we just press the fast-forward button a decade or so into the future, or have McCain debate his eminently more sensible daughter, Meghan?
Egan concluded with one last blast of immaturity urging the young to get off the web and get into action:
Besides, with news that George W. Bush is now on Facebook, what better time to leave the digital den?