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A Millennial on His Generation's Pessimism

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Steve in Sioux Center, Iowa, great to have you with us, sir.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hi, Rush.  Thanks for having me.

RUSH:  You bet.

CALLER:  I would say I'm a big-time fan, but I'm only 18 and a college student, but I like to stay active in politics, and I like listening to your show every once and awhile, so thanks.  The issue I wanted to talk about was the way my generation kind of sees the world, or at least the way I do, after watching the news.

RUSH:  Okay, cool, I'd like to hear this.

CALLER:  There's always kind of like a fear or pessimism and like kind of uncertainty, and it seems like every issue that comes up nowadays is sort of like it's gonna be the end of the world, or we're not gonna be able to survive any longer, and --

RUSH:  Can you give me some examples?  When you say there's always kind of a fear or pessimism, can you give me just an issue or two, example of that?

CALLER:  Sure.  I mean, you see it on the left with, like, global warming, and then you see it on the right with Obamacare.  And, I mean, some of these things kind of scare me, and I talked with my dad about it.  He introduced me to the book Atlas Shrugged, and, after reading that, it kind of scared the crap out of me, honestly. 

RUSH:  You've read Atlas Shrugged?

CALLER:  Yeah, I loved it.

RUSH:  You read that whole book?  That's incredible.

CALLER:  Thanks. I encourage other people to read it.  I don't know, it's quite the book.

RUSH:  Some people, it takes a lifetime to finish that book.

CALLER:  Yeah, I mean, I just got into it. I couldn't put it down, and I mean it's scary, but it's definitely worth reading.

RUSH:  Okay, I know you're speaking for yourself, but you're also extrapolating it to your generation, and you say there's a pessimism because no matter what the issue, it's always presented as fatalistic. So your age-group is growing up afraid of things?

CALLER:  Yeah, and I guess that's the way I kind of see it. But what I kind of wanted to ask, too, is, "What was the perspective like for your generation growing up and maybe other generations in, like, the seventies or eighties?"  I mean, is there always this fear?

RUSH:  Well, I come from that famous generation that group in the sixties, and I don't know how much you know about that, but the Baby Boom generation that grew up in the sixties, there were many different groups that comprised the Baby Boomers, and the sixties were popularized by anti-American, anti-war, anti-establishment radicals who engaged in a lot of destructiveness and violence over the Vietnam War. 

It was a formative event, and the draft that existed in the Vietnam War.  We just kept sending troops, over 500,000 soldiers.  I mean, people go nuts today over 3,000 dead in Iraq.  Fifty thousand died in Vietnam, and there were 500,000 18- and 19-year-olds drafted and sent over there.  It was a really tumultuous time.  The radical leftists of that era are those who are running the country today. 

Now, for me, I didn't want any part of that. 

There were a lot of people in the Baby Boom generation didn't want any part of it. In fact, Steve, you'll laugh at me on this, but for the longest time, I didn't wear blue jeans because I didn't want to be identified with them.  I didn't wear T-shirts. I didn't wear blue jeans. I didn't wear my hair long. I did not want to be associated with the radicals.  I wanted to be in the establishment.  I'll tell you something else. I'm speaking for me and the people that I knew growing up. 

We grew up bursting with optimism. 

We grew up with it. I mean, I knew I was gonna be a success.  I knew it was gonna work out. I knew that whatever I did, I'd succeed. I just knew it.  I had that optimism, even though I got fired seven (or whatever it is) times, I always had this feeling. It wasn't a voice or anything. It was just a sense that I just knew it was gonna happen.  I was not afraid of growing up.  I was not afraid of political issues of the day. 

Now, when I was growing up, there wasn't anybody running around telling me that I was destroying the planet because of the car I drove, like you are hearing.  I was not told that my existence was threatening this animal or that animal. I was not told that my very existence or my parents was destructive, and the multicultural curricula had not happened. My generation, at least my friends, were not told that America was unjust or immoral.  I was raised with the ultimate can-do.

"It's out there! Go get it! Everybody is. You better join the crowd. It's highly competitive, and you better work hard and do whatever you can to get your piece of it."  Now, the radicals of my generation. They totally tuned out of that.  They didn't want any part of it.  They were upset over a number of other things. It was a divided country then, just like it is today, over different things.  Now, the difference that I see is that I think in your generation -- you're a Millennial -- there probably are more of you who do not look at your future the way I looked at mine.

CALLER:  I agree.

RUSH:  Because you're hearing you don't have one, from everywhere.  You're hearing all over the place that it's over. "America's great days are behind. You're not gonna do as well as your parents did." You're inundated with constant negativism. You're inundated with pessimism each and every day.  When you turn on the news, for crying out loud!  I was not, as I think back on when I was 18,19. Man, I couldn't wait to get away from home! I couldn't wait, I hated school, it was holding me back.  I knew what I wanted to do, and I loved it, and I couldn't wait to get out there and start doing it. 

CALLER:  See, I think that's interesting, because the way I see it is, you knew you could go get it. You knew it was there and you knew you were gonna be successful. I'm confident in myself that I'm gonna be successful, but I think it's a little more uncertain, and it's not always sure. Like, are there gonna be jobs there?

RUSH:  Steve?

CALLER:  What about other people that are maybe not as confident in this job market?

RUSH:  Yeah, but, you know, here's the thing: It's never guaranteed for anybody except the Kennedys.

CALLER:  That's true, too.

RUSH:  It's never guaranteed. It wasn't guaranteed for me -- and, by the way, there were a lot of people, when I was growing up, who never thought I had a prayer. Never. But it didn't stop 'em.  They didn't feel so sorry for me that they stopped trying it themselves.  Don't get caught up.  You can't control what other people do.  Don't get caught up in feeling sorry for them because others may not make it.  That's their job, that's their responsibility.  You can't.

Don't ever subordinate yourself or make yourself secondary or a prisoner to your sympathy for others, who you may not even be right about.  As I say, most of the people growing up -- family, friends -- were really worried 'cause I didn't go to college. They thought I was gonna blow the greatest opportunity I'd ever had! My family, they thought I was never gonna amount to anything.  But it didn't stop them from trying to.  So don't get caught up in what you're hearing about life for other people. 

That'll slow you down.  Sympathy is fine when it's placed in the right place, but after so much sympathy, then what do you do?  I mean, you still have to live, you still have to move on, and you still have to take care of yourself.  There's nobody -- even now, there's nobody -- who is as interested in you and your life as you are. No matter what they might tell you, there isn't a politician alive who cares anywhere near as much about your future as you do, nor is there anybody else, other than your parents. 

CALLER:  Yeah, I agree, too.  I always think I control my own destiny.

RUSH:  You do!

CALLER: My dad's always supported me. My mom's always supported me.

RUSH:  You do.  I have to tell you, I probably shouldn't say this, Steve, but when I encounter young people, I'm amazed at how many of 'em don't think there's anything out there for 'em.  I am amazed at how many think that they're owed something, or I'm amazed at how many people think that it's just gonna come to 'em.  I don't know where this happened.  Not everybody.  But the way to look at that is, it's just less competition for you. 

If more people are gonna sit around and stay at home and live with their parents, it's just less competition for you to get what you want.  But I agree.  I think you're pummeled with much more negativism every day, even in the pop culture stuff that you experience. Even in the music you listen to people are probably mad, instead of happy.  There aren't love songs anymore.  There's all kinds of songs about... (interruption) I know.  I gotta take a break.  Steve, I'm way long.  I've gotta go.  I'm sorry.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I think that one of the reasons for the pessimism that is out there today in young people is the way history is taught, particularly the history of this country.  If people from the youngest age are raised to believe horrible things about the place they live and how unfair and unjust and racist and sexist and bigoted and homophobic and all that it is...

They're gonna grow up certainly not eager to be a part of it.  I think that you can trace a lot of the pessimism in young people today to what they're being taught, particularly about history, and most specifically about American history.  I mean that from the bottom of my heart.  It's where they live.  What do you think their reaction's gonna be to growing up and becoming an adult in a place that's taught to be such a rotten hellhole, so unfair, so unjust?

END TRANSCRIPT

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