By Hans Zeiger
is airing Drew Barrymore's sad attempt at a documentary entitled "The Best
Place to Start," along with several hundred other MTV appeals to get youth
into the polls on November 2. It is the quintessence of dumbocracy, a rejection
of responsible republican government, and an embarrassing demonstration of
exactly why many youngsters shouldn't be voting yet.
modern causes that tout equality have made that comparison between the 1960s
civil rights movement and their own plights and rights. Homosexual activists are
the most notable hijackers of civil rights rhetoric. But the latest folks to
invoke the egalitarian spirit of the civil rights movement are the youth vote
activists of the Left who believe that too few 18 to 24 year olds go to the
Barrymore makes the parallel between the civil rights movement and the youth
voting movement of today by making a sentimental visit to Selma, Alabama, where
occurred a milestone 1965 march for the franchise and subsequent police
brutality. Today's version of voter repression, she says, happens when
politicians won't listen to young constituents, thereby causing youngsters not
Twenty-first Century Youth Leadership project in Selma was the setting for an
on-film forum involving Miss Barrymore, several young students, and Democratic
Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders. "Name me five things you can do not
affected by voting," Sanders demanded.
replied one student. "Who your parents are," added another.
"Dying." "Air." "Sleeping." "Talking on the
phone." When the brainstorm had concluded, Senator Sanders took no
hesitation in announcing the verdict. "All of them were wrong," he
Sanders may be correct in his assessment that nothing we do is exempt from the
interest of government. In the cases mentioned by the students, government
regulates products we buy in the store; government can remove children from one
home and put them in another; government regulates air pollution; and as the
socialist State Senator pointed out, government can give us health care to keep
us from dying. Senator Sanders is fond of an omnipotent government.
Barrymore's conclusion from the whole matter is even more depressing than
Senator Sanders'. "It's good not to be scared by the fact that they control
everything," she told her young audience as if to comfort them at the
monstrous rise of Alexis de Tocqueville's democratic despot, as if to soothe a
potential realization that George Orwell's Big Brother is inevitable. Instead of
fear, Barrymore recommends that young people get out to the polls to inject into
the bulging veins of government another dose of power.
government is enormous should be obvious. MTV's message - via the Barrymore
program, Christina Aguilera's show contending that the sex lives of young
Americans will be jeopardized if they don't' vote, Alicia Keys' interruptions of
reality television to urge young people to "Choose or Lose" - is that
government's enormity and power is good when it is in the hands of the young.
MTV is asking for all of the entitlements of governing without first seeking the
complementary responsibilities. MTV itself is a good example of the
irresponsibility that is entirely incompatible with self-government and thus
foreign to the preservation of constitutional government.
Miss Aguilera's program called "Sex, Votes, and Higher Power," the
Higher Power is not God. It seems that the higher power is that which has
control over sex lives. And since MTV's message is that the rights to sex, sex
education, abortion, sex, homosexuality, and sex are contingent on whether the
right person is in the Oval Office, gullible young people gain a sense that
something mighty important about the flesh is at stake in this election.
having apparently dissipated in the MTV Generation, or at least that part of the
generation that tends to be showcased on that channel, the plea is for an
all-powerful government that gives first favor to the "rights" of
sexually maniacal, undereducated youths.
MTV understands, in a way, that without self-government and limited government,
the state must be powerful. And if that power can be used to give sanction to
the very things that undermine self-government in the first place, it ought to
be done with the full force of a generation. Since the rise of force is
inevitable at the funeral of character, the battle to wield force becomes ever
more divided. Conservatives would use government to make America more moral, and
liberals armed with MTV would use government to make America more decadent.
Hans Zeiger is president of the Scout Honor Coalition, a Seattle Sentinel columnist, and a student at Hillsdale College. www.hanszeiger.com
expressed do not necessarily reflect those of PoliticalUSA.com.