Most of the people of my generation responded with some mixed feelings. Children of the ‘60s, many of us decried the violence. In my Facebook posts, I decried the goal of murder rather than justice.
Several of us –and I among them – lamented the crazy street demonstrations that burst out all over the U.S. From coast to coast, college-aged people took to the streets, cheering, jeering, swilling beer, waving U.S. flags and wearing U.S. flags, pumping their fists into the air as they chanted “USA! USA” or sang drunken versions of the national anthem.
When I first heard of those outbreaks in New York and Washington, DC, I was inclined to cut them some slack. I realized that these kids were just children when the attacks were unleashed on the U.S. in 2001.
Then I heard that a similar drunken orgy had launched here at the University of Missouri. These kids didn’t lose friends and family in 2001.
I began to wonder: What in the world is this?? Why are these 18-20 year olds moving into the streets with those flag-waving bacchanals?
Here’s the theory that came to my mind today. Today’s college-age students grew up in the age of President George W. Bush. They grew up in the Age of American Exceptionalism that Bush crafted. They grew up with a wicked President who launched policies that declared that America was so special that it did not need to obey international law. Bush and his Congress passed laws that eroded our civil liberties. They herded many of our nation into sheep-like surrender of our civil liberties. George Bush managed the feat of telling U.S. Americans that we were a law unto ourselves, while stripping our citizens of many liberties.
With that reflection, I am no longer surprised that our children flocked to the streets with the flags and their hideous cheers. President George Bush taught them that the U.S. is beholden to no law and no morality. The cheering, jeering, flag-waving, beer-swilling kids in the streets are the children of President George W. Bush.