This is not a post about gun control — pro or con or somewhere in the middle. No, this is about some inspiring kids.
The young people who survived last week’s horrible shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have impressed me with their passion for making the world a better place. Right now, the issue may be guns, but I doubt their activism will stop there. As the parent of a young man who will turn 18 tomorrow, I’m excited about the next generation. He’s a good kid, too.
These articulate kids seem to understand that it’s not enough to simply complain and protest. They are demanding accountability from politicians. And — in a move that ought to scare the hell out of career-bought-and-paid-for politicians — they are vowing to vote. And if young folks ever come out to the polls in force, no amount of gerrymandering will be able to stem their power for years to come.
These kids are demanding common-sense gun regulations. What’s next? Are they going to demand we stop punishing kids financially for going to college? Are they going to want a clean planet? Are they going to try to help sick people instead of treating them as cash cows for greedy pharmaceutical and insurance companies? Are they going to demand campaign finance reform and an end to Citizens United? Are they going to fight income inequality and the debt? Are they going to steer us from a constant state of war? Are they going to work to empower the less fortunate rather than demonizing the poor?
I suspect the answer to a lot of the above is “yes.” For now, they intend to stay the course toward making the world a better place. They’ve yet to be corrupted by cynicism and campaign cash. They’ve yet to be deterred by right-wingers like Dinesh D’Souza, who has chosen to mock them, or conspiracy nuts like Sandy Hook-denying Alex Jones who think they are a bunch of actors — or any of their ilk who follow them, agree with them and help promote their lunacy.
You can disagree with the policies that matter to them, but it’s obvious their intentions are pure. They want to make the world a better place. They’re not running for Congress … yet. You’ve got to be at least 25 to run the U.S. House, 30 to run for Senate and 35 to run for President.
Although, maybe we should consider eliminating the age requirements. No one in Congress seems to have more passion and integrity than these kids. Perhaps we should toss out all 535 members of Congress and replace them with 535 of the best kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They may not have the life experience of our current Congressional representatives, but they certainly seem to have the older folks beat on integrity and passion.
Just make sure this young lady Emma Gonzalez isn’t one of those kids we send to Congress. That would be a travesty. I would never stand for it.
We’re going to need her as president.