By Paul Bremmer
Today’s young adults are much less likely to believe in the American Dream than were young adults in 1986, and analysts have attributed this surge in pessimism to factors such as wage stagnation, mounting college debt and the economic damage caused by the Great Recession.
However, one author and journalist traces the decline in American hopefulness to the very man who promised hope and change when he first ran for president.
“Reality check: For a good part of millennials’ lives (the past seven years), their nation has been run by a lawless, lying Marxist revolutionary, a man literally obsessed with phantom menaces like global warming, ‘gun violence,’ an epidemic of racism among law enforcement, and other delusions,” said David Kupelian, author of “The Snapping of the American Mind.”
Meanwhile, he continued, “The U.S. economy has gone to hell, her culture has descended further into the gutter, the tyranny of political correctness has grown, fear for the safety of the American homeland is the highest since 9/11, and the rest of the world is on fire. Of course millennials aren’t feeling all warm and hopeful about the nation’s future – or their own.”
A Fusion 2016 Issues poll released earlier this month found only 16 percent of 18-to-35-year-olds said the American Dream is “very much alive” today. On the other hand, 29 percent said the Dream is “not really alive.”
The pollsters compared their results with those from a similar poll conducted in 1986 by the Roper Organization. In the 1986 poll, which gauged the opinions of 18-to-34-year-olds, 32 percent said the American Dream was “very much alive,” while 12 percent said it was “not really alive.”
The three most common items today’s young people consider part of the American Dream are the ability to start a business, send their kids to college, and get a college education for themselves.
In related news, the Washington Times reported this month on a new research paper which shows that among members of America’s armed forces, white males under age 24 are the most likely to commit suicide.
The two psychologists who authored the paper initially considered whether military suicides increased in the 2000s because of the two wars launched in that decade, but upon reviewing historical data they found military suicides actually fell during previous wars. So they concluded the military’s current suicide problem is a millennial-generation problem.
The authors noted millennial recruits are more likely than previous generations to come from single-parent homes and carry the emotional baggage of adverse childhood experiences. Therefore they are “a more vulnerable cohort of soldiers as compared to earlier generations,” according to the report.
Kupelian agrees with that analysis, but sees another factor at work as well.
“This is sadly true, of course, but compounding this problem is that the commander-in-chief is a person that most soldiers recognize is not a worthy leader and cannot truly have their best interests at heart,” Kupelian said. “This is devastating for the military. Indeed, the report found that for some mysterious reason the rate of military suicides – predominantly among millennials – started increasing shortly before Obama became president.” (The rate started sharply increasing around 2006 or 2007, according to one of the report’s authors.)
Survey data seem to back up Kupelian’s point. In 2014, President Obama’s popularity fell to an all-time low among active-duty military members. Only 15 percent approved of the way Obama was handling his job as commander-in-chief, while 55 percent disapproved. In 2009, Obama’s first year in office, 35 percent of military members had approved of him while 40 percent had disapproved.
In short, Kupelian faults Obama for crushing the very spirit that keeps the American Dream alive.
“The ‘American Dream’ has everything to do with hopefulness, with love of country, with optimism, with a belief in American exceptionalism – and just beneath the surface of that belief in American exceptionalism, a belief that God has uniquely blessed this nation,” Kupelian said.
“The far left, led by Obama, who has controlled the nation’s levers of power for seven long years, has done everything possible, whether intentionally or not, to extinguish this flame, this love of country and confidence in the future that has traditionally burned brightly in the heart of every true American.”