Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 5 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/26/18

Voices of America's Youth

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   6 comments
Author 88318
Message Les Adler


(Image by mathiaswasik)   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

The contrast couldn't have been greater. Flashing on one screen were the rigid faces slogans and fear-mongering screed of NRA spokesmen, culminating with the iconic image of the now long dead Charlton Heston holding a rifle above his head and chanting "From my cold dead hands!"

On the other and on the live stage below were the young, amazingly eloquent and life-affirming faces and voices , one after another, of high school students and others from across the country who gathered in Washington, D.C. yesterday to ignite nothing less than a true Childrens' Crusade to take back their country from those same few but powerful "cold dead hands" whose choke-hold on American politics for decades has prevented any reasonable gun-control legislation.

Combining a healthy blend of passion and reason, their repeated call, "Enough is Enough" as well as the spoken and unspoken theme underlying all their messages--"Choose Life-- reflected, at times, both the religious fervor and sophisticated political sensibility which characterized and energized the Civil Rights, Free Speech and anti-war movements which transformed America more than a half-century ago.

- Advertisement -

Dominating both the rhetoric and the blizzard of signs being waved in the bright Washington sunshine was a truly refreshing and deeply American faith in the power of individual citizens to effect change. While calling for a 'revolution' in politics and society, and while calling-out, sometimes by name, politicians who reflexively do the bidding of the NRA and the powerful gun lobby, these young citizens assumed and asserted their right to protest, demand and, most importantly, achieve the change and protection from gun violence they and a great majority of others want and need from their government.

Nowhere in sight was the cynicism, resignation and apathetic acceptance dominating the current political scene. Nor the angry, demeaning tweets and name-calling. Instead, the flavor was one of optimism and hope. Of belief that the system, though corrupted by deceit, wealth and privilege, could be reformed by the sheer will of the people expressed through the ballot box. With the Capitol dome as backdrop, and tens of thousands of marchers cheering and chanting in front of them, along with sister demonstrations occurring across the nation and world, at that moment it truly seemed possible.

Why the massacre at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High has produced this level of response when all the others, Columbine, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas and elsewhere have quickly faded from public consciousness, with only "thoughts and prayers" from elected officials as a result, is still unclear. As are the ultimate political and policy outcomes that will emerge from this latest tragedy. What is clear, however, is that a corner seems to have been turned in what has appeared up to now to be an intractable debate. Suddenly, room and pressure may have emerged for the passage of effective legislation on background checks and the availability of assault weapons.

- Advertisement -

The voices were neither fearful nor devisive, not nationalistic or exclusionary, but fresh, authentic and full of promise--a hopeful and idealistic America we'd almost forgotten and which we've longed and needed to hear again.

Les Adler

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 3   Valuable 3   Well Said 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Les Adler Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Les Adler is professor emeritus of history in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University. A specialist in twentieth century American history, his academic publications have dealt with America during the Cold War Era and on (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

America's Tar Baby

While America Slept

"Get Me Roger Stone" A Must-See Documentary

The "Bully's Pulpit"

Break Point

Dancing on the Edge