Here’s what I am not thankful about: The generational change in this country that may have catastrophic results, at least for traditional, moderate Americans such as myself.
A few days ago, a poll reported that 30% of Americans, 18-34, get their news from Tik Tok.
“News” and “Tik Tok” is almost a contradiction in terms.
If some guy dressed like a poodle, drooling from the mouth and scratching his crotch, approached a 24-year-old on a sidewalk and gave him a bit of “news,” the young man would take a powder.
But if the same guy tweets or Tik Toks it, the young man is clicking “like.”
Tik Tok is not a news source. It is a gossip source that sometimes can be right, but it is only as good as the person pushing the information out.
Remember this from computer class? GIGO.
Garbage In, Garbage Out.
That should be Tik Tok’s motto, along with “We have funny videos, most of which are too long.”
Anyway, some idiot “influencer” posted mass murderer Osama bin Laden’s 22-year-old “Letter to America,” and some number of young people — who may not remember 9/11 — agreed with him that America is the villain, even though most of his claims could be easily disproved.
Too many stupid people believe stupid things they read online now, and the problem with grow even more intense as deep fakes emerge and AI can be used to create false documents, news stories, and even videos of people saying things they never said.
We are on the brink of the Era of Alternative Reality.
Almost simultaneously with the young forming an Osama bin Laden fan club came news that former President Donald J. Trump had a better approval rating among the 18-34 clan than President Joe Biden, and a key explanation for that was the youth’s disapproval of Biden’s handling of foreign policy, specifically the U.S. support for Israel.
Does this shift signal the start of a generational shift to the Right?
Overall, excluding the young, Americans still line up with Israel versus the Palestinians, although not by the same margin that existed when I was a young person.
In recent decades, as support for Israel has declined among Democrats, there has been a corresponding increase among Republicans.
When Israel declared independence and was attacked by five Arab nations sworn to destroy Israel, it was a miracle when the outnumbered and outgunned Jews, many of them Holocaust survivors, won a tremendous victory.
That was 1948, and even though America was far more anti-Semitic then than now, Americans cheered the improbable victory of the underdog.
Then, 19 years later, Israel defeated Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in the defensive 1967 Six-Day War.
Again, tiny Israel was victorious, and Americans cheered.
Just six years later, in 1973, a coalition of Arab states, led by Egypt and Syria, launched a surprise attack on Israel on the most solemn day of the Jewish calendar. The Israelis suffered serious initial losses, and might have lost, if not for the heavy military aid rushed to them by President Richard M. Nixon. Again, almost all Americans were happy with the result.
Just three years later, when the Israelis rescued 248 hostages during their brilliant raid on Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976, the world cheered and support for Israel was overwhelming.You can find details here.
For this event, and others, during an era of hijackings, the word “Palestinian” became synonymous with “terrorist.” On Oct. 7, Hamas proved that link is still valid, but support from Democrats has shriveled.
In 2018, Pew Research found that the share of liberal Democrats who sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians has declined from 33% to 19% since 2016. Currently, nearly twice as many liberal Democrats say they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel (35% vs. 19%); 22% of liberal Democrats sympathize with both sides or neither side and 24% declined an opinion.
A lot of the Left’s hostility toward Israel is actually antagonism toward Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, but the Left’s slide away from Israel predates Netanyahu election.
The question is why.
In the first 30 years of its existence, Israel won the PR war by accurately portraying itself as a David of a few million Jews surrounded by hostile Arab states with 460 million.
In a disturbing reversal of fortune, Israel’s military success worked against it. Despite it still being tiny, its victories have recast Israel into the evil Goliath.
In the current war against Hamas, the world is seeing the gruesome results of Israel’s air and missile attacks against Gaza.
In the minds of many, especially on the Left, it doesn’t matter that Hamas deliberately locates itself in civilian areas for the purpose of creating civilian casualties, to elicit sympathy from the world. Nor does it matter that under the rules of war Hamas has made civilian structures legitimate military targets.
No, it is the image that counts, and the image is of whole city blocks turned into rubble. And the image of dead civilians being pulled from the rubble.
In all honesty, I don’t think the Israel Defense Forces were as careful with their bombs as in the past,
For contrast, when IDF soldiers took over and moved through the Shifa hospital, not a single civilian was harmed.
I can only guess why Israel was more heavy-handed this time — the fury they feel about how 1,200 people were tortured, raped, shot and burned to death — men, women, children, babies.
The PR mistake Israel made was not releasing a 43-minute video of the atrocities to the world. It has shown it only to selected audience, and that it is a mistake, as I have written.
Without this, the world sees only one side, the side that seems to show Israel bullying, which Israel’s enemies — and they are many — call “war crimes.”
Defending yourself is not a crime.
And committing atrocities is not “resistance.”
Israel is damned if she does, and damned if she doesn’t.
To return to the starting point — the youth. A Quinnipiac poll reported only 21% of them approved of Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war. Do they actually believe he is on the wrong side?
Among all voters, 61% sympathize with the Israelis, only 13% with the Palestinians.
So how are the young so out of step with the rest of America?
Could it have something to do with education?
Ha, ha. Of course it does. Or lack of education.
Nowadays, the Right complains that schools are “indoctrinating” our youth.
They are right.
Schools have always “indoctrinated” students.
When I was in school, it was pro-America, pro-free enterprise, pro-merit, competition, and equal opportunity.
From what I’ve read and seen, the curriculum has swung deep into negative territory.
Now there is an obsession with identity and gender, the dark patches of American history and life, the fairness of socialism, safe spaces, speech codes, the unfairness of merit — illustrated by participation trophies and no score-keeping in athletic contests, and the DEI values of equal outcome.
Not to mention the framing of the world into oppressed and oppressors, colonizers and colonizers. And much of the Left and some of the Arab world falsely claims that Israel is a colonizer.
The further Left you move along the Democratic Party, and the younger, the more you see of this nonsense. That’s why most Congressional Democrats (except for the repulsive Squad) side with Biden, while the bare majority of street-level Democrats, about 51%, side with Israel.
And, now, sinking.
In the ’60s, the young screamed, “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Now, I’m inclined to say, “Don’t trust anyone under 30.”