The Future Belongs to Them
Much has been made among commentators about the seeming inability of the Republican Party to successfully reposition themselves for a future comeback. Actually the answer is simple, they should jetison the religious right and recommit themselves to the principles of a free society. Now they have an additional reason to choose the freedom path - it puts them in harmony with the views of today's young people. According to the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:
America's Generation Y (born between 1980 and 1995) is the first to have grown up with the Internet, which leaves it the most liberty-loving generation since the era of Andrew Jackson.
What does it mean to have been weaned in an environment -- the Internet -- virtually free of government interference? Millions of Gen-Yers have grown accustomed to making purchases online tax-free. They download movies and music (much of it pirated), read their news online for free (to the detriment of print media), find recipes online and network with friends and relatives online.
In short, they love their freedom.
This love of liberty translates into a unique political composite. Gen-Yers are less nationalistic and more likely to see all politicians as corrupt than older voters. They support liberalization of drug laws and would prefer to see marijuana legalized. And they are much less likely to support restrictions on immigration than older voters. ...
But they are also free-traders, much more supportive of globalization than older voters. They're optimistic, overwhelmingly believing that they can change the country for the better. And in the most recent surveys, they support proposals to privatize Social Security, which few believe will be there for them when they retire.
...Weaned on the Internet, they understand what our founders understood and what classical liberals [libertarians] since have preached: that Social Security and the Internal Revenue Service represent big, intrusive government, but so, too, do a massive military, snooping spy agencies and national identification cards. They don't want the government taxing their Internet purchases any more than they want a government agency assigning them a doctor.
It's the classical liberalism of Milton Friedman, who argued that political and economic freedom are deeply interrelated -- that one cannot exist without the other. They've grown up with that kind of freedom, and as voting adults, they have come to expect it.
The first party to understand this and adjust will dominate America's political landscape in the future.
Are you listening, clueless Republicans?
On Memorial Day I took this picture of the parking lot of the Hotel Northampton. Looks like there weren't a lot of people traveling this holiday weekend.
I like this weird mural on a wall in an alley off of Market Street.
It seems to be trying to tell a story, but if so I can't figure it out.
Purple people on a trash can.
A monster on a tree stump.
Paolo reminded me today of this great video by this talented Holyoke duo calling themselves Paper City's Finest. What happened to them? There was a CD at one point called "Big Dreams" but it doesn't seem to have gone anywhere. When the following video first came out in 2006 we were all amazed and impressed, expecting it to be the beginning of a whole new creative scene involving cool and informative videos coming out of the Valley's inner-city neighborhoods. Yet that really hasn't happened. In fact, three years later this is still the best music video of its type to come out of the Pioneer Valley so far.
Here's something recent by somebody out of Springfield.
The price of a postage stamp went up to 44 cents this week. Isn't that unbelievable? They said they had to raise the price because fewer and fewer people are using the mail these days. That's government thinking, isn't it? "Hey, nobody's buying our product. Let's raise the price." -- Jay Leno, May 12, 2009.