The identity seekers

Progressivism has created generations of disconnected young Americans in search of an identity.

The incidence of overt teenage depression has risen from ~7% to ~20% over the past 15 years.  In 2019, 36% of teens expressed persistent feelings of hopelessness and sadness.  Eighteen percent seriously considered suicide (CDC).  Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the 18- to 24-year age group.  Media "experts" attribute this to bullying, anxiety over school grades, peer pressures, abusive family environments, etc.  None of these explanations seems adequate to explain this alarming trend.

Trapped in a careening subway car, are today's youth desperately looking for a strap to hang on to?  In the wake of progressive and woke influences on our culture and society, their traditional underpinnings have undergone progressive erosion.  Patriotism is passé.  America was built on slavery and remains systemically racist, afflicted with white supremacy, capitalist greed, and income inequality.  Patriots are cast as "white nationalist" fascists.  Religious tenets are oppressive, and organized religion is corrupt.  Family and community integrity are increasingly fragmented.  Parental authority is oppressive.  Working parents indulge instead of discipline.  Gender identity is up for grabs.  Names are too restrictive — pick a pronoun.  DEI and CRT crowd out the 3 Rs as education becomes indoctrination.  Media overload exposes them to politically driven partisan chaos.  Global warming will end civilization.  COVID lockdowns and remote learning, championed by the left, have exacerbated their disconnect.  They are innocent victims of an unstable society.  The dissolution of traditionally stable social anchors — faith, country, family — and exposure to societal divisiveness and chaos have left them adrift and untethered.

Having nowhere else to turn, they turn inward, by default.  They become self-immersed, introspective, fragile, and vulnerable.  They seek safe spaces, cringe before microaggressions, and seek mental health days as a term of employment.  They are labeled "narcissists" and the "me" generation because of their outwardly defensive posturing.  They become anxious and depressed — especially girls, who are more dependent on social connectivity than boys.  Increasing numbers are prescribed anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs, or turn to street drugs.  Adolescent residential treatment centers are flourishing.  They turn to social media for identity.  Are tattoos and piercings identity-enhancers, displays of conformity to a new TikTok/social media norm? 

Perhaps if we displayed American flags instead of rainbow banners and BLM posters, stopped treating 10-year-olds as adults, and stopped straddling them with the guilt of racism and global warming, they might feel better about themselves.

Image: HistoryOverFiction,

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