This week we learned that, for the first time in 130 years, more young adults ages 18-34 are living with their parents than not. We also learned (or were reminded) that students at Oberlin, one of the most prestigious colleges in the country, are wee wailing babies who are having the all-day equivalent of night terrors. You can hardly speak to them without using “magic circles” to soothe them.
These two trends aren’t coincidental: Millennials, and the generation following them, are reforming the country. What they’re creating amounts to the Childish States of America. If our national symbols were to be revised accordingly, the bald eagle would have to be replaced with a Teletubby.
At Oberlin, just about the friendliest, indeed most groveling, place on Earth for those who consider themselves members of marginalized groups, a black student complained, “My parents don’t have the funds to drive to Oberlin when I’m crying and ready to self-harm,” to The New Yorker’s Nathan Heller in an eyebrow-raising yet utterly unsurprising report.
Oberlin students, like over-cushioned college kids everywhere, are effectively infants wearing the onesie reading, “If I Don’t Sleep, Nobody Sleeps.”
A professor at the increasingly illiberal liberal-arts college reports she has fallen into the habit of walking around the room saying, “I am now creating a magic circle inside this space” within which it’s OK to study an issue frankly.
Some 1,300 students signed a petition asking for all grades lower than C to be abolished so that every one of these children could be deemed at least average.
Students regularly follow the example of a female peer who ran out of the room and went crying to Mommy when a drama teacher spoke sharply to her, and since we’re talking about a “her,” that means, literally, making a federal case of it — an investigation under Title IX.
Because small children can’t write, college students are starting to demand the option to simply chat about their ideas instead of submitting term papers. Composition scholar Peter Elbow told an Atlanta conference of college writing teachers in 2011 that the grammar we learn by age 4 is “good enough,” and disbelieving attendee Mary Grabar added that colleges are “not really interested in teaching students to write and communicate clearly,” so communication is now “redefined as ‘performance’ involving the body, images, song, hip-hop, visual rhetorics, clothes, ‘everything but the written word as traditionally understood.’ ”
It’s gotten to the point where outsiders literally have to tell collegians, “Use your words.”
Millennials, and the generation following them, are reforming the country. What they’re creating amounts to the Childish States of America. If our national symbols were to be revised accordingly, the bald eagle would have to be replaced with a Teletubby.
That sentiment was delivered by President Obama, who told graduating seniors at Rutgers this month, “Use your logic and reason and words” to rebut ideas they found disagreeable. But Obama is part of the progressive project to infantilize young Americans. The more Americans are dependent on the federal government, the more power accrues to the liberal cultural project. One day Daddy DC is giving an allowance to your school, the next he’s arguing that your locker rooms must be co-ed.
ObamaCare ruled that insurers must allow parents to carry their children as dependents until age 26 — an age when previous generations of Americans expected to be well into their adult lives, typically becoming parents themselves by then. Obama’s childlike delusions of sweeping all the blocks off the table and starting over — “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” — appealed especially to young people, who are too new and naive to understand the incremental and compromise-ridden nature of political change.
It is a favorite progressive trick, much used by Obama and others, to reframe controversial issues as being about “children,” even at the most unlikely moments. Obama defended his decision to trade five Taliban prisoners for a soldier now being court-martialed for desertion, Bowe Bergdahl, by saying, “The American people understand this is somebody’s child.”
So is Dylann Roof.
The Obamanoids turned into Sandersistas, whose playtime fantasy is to have everything they want paid for by others — grownups — whom they wish to shake down for lollipops, universal health care and free college tuition.
College graduates are moving in with their parents in part for economic reasons, in part because of codependency. The evident source of the infantilization of young adults is . . . older adults. You see it on the playground, where little Zeke or Roscoe takes a tumble and looks mildly startled — until the Momocopter comes flying in at Mach 1 speed to offer urgent care, at which point the kid inevitably starts bawling. Exactly as with whiny toddlers, the more you indulge them, the more they find to complain about.
Are the loonies running the asylum? Almost. The babies are running the nursery. Back at Oberlin, the president of one of the most competitive universities in the country has toy cars on his shelf and a motorcycle made from pieces of a Sprite can. He sat for his interview with The New Yorker with both shoelaces untied.