How can we live in such total disconnect?

By Ana R. Klenicki
Posted 9/26/19

It is reassuring and soul-warming to see so many young people (including so many teenagers) worldwide, particularly here in the United States, where the youth seem to have been lost in the internet …

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How can we live in such total disconnect?

Posted

It is reassuring and soul-warming to see so many young people (including so many teenagers) worldwide, particularly here in the United States, where the youth seem to have been lost in the internet desert, coalesce around the issue of climate change. It is, after all, they who "will inherit the Earth," and if there is none to inherit, they already know they will be in deep trouble.

However, there is a total disconnect between our elected officials - at any level of government - and us, the so-called American people. How is this possible? And not only possible, but the gap appears totally unbridgeable and getting deeper and deeper.

Two issues come to mind that are perfect illustrations of what I am talking about: gun control and climate change. In spite of all the publicity (and one problem is not only too much publicity but most of it is incomplete and frequently erroneous) and one catastrophic mass shooting after the other, nothing is done at the public level. Nobody is after the total elimination of weapons (the black marketeers would be happy though), but everybody is or should be for greater control of who has access to dangerous weapons, including (particularly so) assault and/or automatic ones.

Climate change is the other big ticket item. Most of our illustrious politicos think that climate change is only about the weather and bad storms. Yes, that is part, but climate change also seriously affects water supplies and food chains. So, besides horribly polluting the world's supplies of water, we need to customize its use better so we do not run out of it.

But, and here is another disconnect, we have a million organizations that bombard us with requests for money, together with public offices that are federally, state and/or locally funded (tax money?). Nevertheless, the two sides seldom meet, let alone talk to each other.

And here, is another piece in the disconnect puzzle: today there is a political/intellectual/ideological divide that precludes a serious, intellectually sound communication. The revolution in technology has created multitudes of instant experts and if one does not agree with the other, one is bad and the other is good.

Excuse me, but since when have we become so ideologically entrenched? All of the sudden everybody and their mother claim to own "the whole truth and nothing but the truth." Is that so?

So my friends, going back to the beginning, maybe we not only need to worry about the environment and all the rest of today's ills, but urgently we need - better yet, our younger generations, our heirs, need - to clamor about it and demand that our politicos act and enact laws that truly protect them and their future. The "American people" so far have failed miserably to hold their elected officials accountable. Maybe the youth can be more successful.

But tantrums are not the answer - "virality" will not do it either. It will take serious legwork, serious studying and comprehension of what is at stake. The youth need to become more responsible and we need to back them up. After all, it is we who are responsible for the mess the world is in. If not, the disconnect will continue to the discomfort of all.

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