Lacking faith in government

you’re not supposed to know about. A handful of influencers convened in a secluded location to meet privately with a … Continued

you’re not supposed to know about. A handful of influencers convened in a secluded location to meet privately with a person who could very well be a future leader of our nation. More often than not, at 28, I’m the youngest person in the room for these sorts of gatherings, sometimes by decades, and, typically, I let everyone else do the talking.

If I had asked a question, I might have asked if the person we were meeting with was actually telling us the truth because honesty doesn’t seem a prerequisite for power in America any longer, and government has fused with the worst of politics. Rhetoric has knocked off leadership, and agendas have crippled objectivity. In a word, many of our leaders are … fakes.

See, I’m a Millennial (the 80-million Americans born after 1980), and we don’t take anything at face value. We’ve been marketed-to-death from birth, and we’re nursing some serious trust issues with our nation’s leaders.

Millenials have reason to be anxious about the future. We are the generation raised on Katrina, 9/11, the Great Recession, the dot com bubble, the Virginia Tech Massacre, multiple wars and fragmenting families. We have been eyewitnesses of the worst natural disaster in American History, the most devastating financial crisis since the Great Depression, the most horrifying kind of violence exercised in – of all places – the hallowed halls of higher education. The youngest among us have never known an America not at war, and the oldest among us are the most unemployed generation in America. For many of us, the Titanic seems to be taking on water.

Meanwhile, it seems abundantly clear that politics is often a chameleon sport for egomaniacs that morph from who they actually are to who they need to be in order to win for the sake of winning. Long gone are the days of citizen legislators who entered into public life for a season of service. These days’ politicians are more often serving themselves than their nation, and they bicker for the sake of bickering.

Republicans are blaming the Democrats, and Democrats are blaming the Republicans, the tea party is blaming the establishment, and Occupy Wall Street is blaming the free market. None are willing to blame themselves.

This is not the behavior of a free, sensible nation. Our leaders must remember that they’re spending from the coffers of America’s future generations. They are drawing credit on our dreams and on our opportunities.

We’ve had our fill of it, and America’s leaders can’t afford to ignore us. See, we occupy the largest social demographic in North America, even larger than the Boomer and Gen X’ers that came before us, and we are not only of future relevance to America. We are of present relevance. In fact, as many as 40 million of us were eligible to vote in the 2008 election, and more of us will be in play in 2012.

Like most young Americans, I simply want to know that we have a place at the table, and that our leaders are making noble, rational decisions that take our future into account. These days we’re lucky if sanity alone shows her face within the beltway.

Ronald Reagan, who was elected president before I was born, told the graduates of the University of Notre Dame in 1981, “each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.”

I’m not sure Reagan could say this today.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Young Americans are pleading with our leaders to wake up lest, in the words of Winston Churchill, “a great ship sinks in a calm sea.” Millenials want one thing in government – leaders they can trust.

Johnnie Moore is an author, pastor, professor, and a vice president of the 72,000 student Liberty University. He sits on the board of World Help, and travels around the world affecting change in desperate places. He is the author of: Honestly: Really Living What We Say We Believe.


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  • WmarkW

    Liberty U, huh? Perhaps you can relate your current predicament to the paradox of Reagan Republicanism:

    Conservatives like to point to the years 1945-65 as a kind of Golden Age when people had values, as evidenced by a record marriage rate and baby boom. Then they decry the economic conditions of the time, for strong unions and job security. They don’t seem to accept that having economic stability empowered people to put down family and community roots.

    The free agent economy conservatives love so much, encourages free agent lifestyles, which they hate. Conservatives need to decide whether values are important enough, to set up the economy to encourage them; or if encouraging people to practice “values” are just a tool to reduce the social cost of top-down economics.

  • James210

    Lord Vader would like the rank of master MzQ?

    I think you have accomplished that with your efforts? I’m sorry Youth ministry is not my thing.

    In Public Relations? with regards, that witch doesn’t do anything but profess Jesus and ethics every morning now? You should have seen her a year ago.
    Seats at the table? Open meeting? Her philosophy was , tables, tables and more tables, never enough?

    I do Ms trading barbs?apologies to Lord Vader , this is a debate with my sister.
    Somebody does need a vacation and clearly refuses to sell out.

    Professor Frankensteen? The half/breed that i am…I haven’t read scripture in years,much less received a paycheck. Shall i use the mis-interpretation of gospels or, should i invoke jefferson’s opinion, with regards to law, adjustment? Satisfied?

    The poison of education? clearly, leaves me with bitter resentment towards anything or anyone who professes, to be followers of Jesus?
    And, God having favorites, that he does, continues to allow the corruption of society through wealth and pedigrees.

    Somebody tell E-beth that i never seen polygamy, where women can have multiple husbands? and no i don’t share.

  • david6

    Critical thinking is the most important thing for any generation to learn. Assigning blame willy-nilly is of no value to anyone. You need to learn why certain policies are harmful and why certain policies are good. You need to understand that the rational people in the world don’t expect any rational opinions from Liberty University because it was not founded for rational causes.

  • codyjacobslu

    It’s remarkable how right Johnnie is, as seen by comments that have already been left on this post.

    You’re from Liberty U? BLAME. You’re a Christian? You must be a Republican. BLAME. You must be ignorant and have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Clearly, Johnnie is right. Refreshing, actually to see someone who has not determined his values based on party or religious background, but will instead likely cast his vote based on the principles and ideals of the candidate as an individual.

    I can relate to Johnnie, as I am a Millennial as well. We seek an honest politician, which has come to be an oxymoron in itself. We seek leadership, integrity, boldness and common sense.

    Our current leaders must have mixed emotions. Fear, because they know we are here and that we intend to stay. We want something more than debt, fear and economic crisis. We want to be a part of the America that we can merely read about in our history books. They should also feel hope. Hope, because we mean business. Hope, because we are sick and tired of living in this “Greatest Nation” that has shown us troubled times, moral decay and selfish politics.

    We are here. We are aware. We are many.

  • WmarkW

    We all know who founded Liberty U and those of us old enough to remember associate that individual with championing the Reagan candidacy, based on a political interpretation of moral values.

    Since the Republican party still considers mixing pro-wealthy economics and Southern-style Protestant morality as the backbone of its platform, it’s entire reasonable to ask a spokesman of that viewpoint to reconcile its contradictions.