The young embrace an alternate reality

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.”

20 thoughts on “The young embrace an alternate reality”

  1. From what I have heard and read, the left-leaning youth (and many adults) believe that the October 7 atrocity was either a false flag or didn’t happen at all. Any video that would be shown would also be dismissed out of hand. This is how far down the rabbit hole we have fallen.

    1. Stu. Good research. I was most interested in the TikTok figure for the young I would’ve liked to of mentioned more issues than Israel because the news covers other things to so Israel’s important, but I would’ve mentioned more issues .Trans and gay kids and how I believe Tik Tok promotes that. And how China wants to break down our society. Don’t they on TikTok?

      1. Tik Tok was only one part of my column. Others, I think, have written about the dangers of Tik Tok on several levels. It IS more fangerous than X or Facebook because of Chinese ownership.

  2. I agree Stu. The lack of interest in actual news that those 35 and under display is frightening. Even my own close, under forty, highly educated friends, do not read the newspaper or watch network news. They simply do not care and have a very negative attitude.
    Tik Toc, Utube, and Facebook utilize algorithms that reinforce the limited view the reader has previously seen. It is a sad, disturbing trend that is increasing.

  3. I LOVE your history lessons and hope people read to the end, then look at themselves in the mirror if necessary.

    **Defending yourself is not a crime.
    **And committing atrocities is not “resistance.”
    **Israel is damned if she does, and damned if she doesn’t.

    And synonymous!

  4. So we know where they get their lies – their false news, so to speak.
    But where do they get their “truth?”
    Our news media is corrupted. It TELLS people what to think by disguising news reporting with “opinion news.”
    Sadly, people fall for it, because they are too lazy to do research, or because in the end, they just don’t give a damn.
    Meanwhile, Social Media is a cancer. But for the youth, its a “hangout.” These are “Tic Tok Rats,” not unlike “mall rats” of the 70’s and 80’s. Peer Pressure drives so much of this.
    Sadly, its only going to get worse, until, if ever, the news media returns to it’s long-ago news reporting principles, standards, morals and ethics that made us feel that we were hearing the truth, not subliminal opinion and agenda.
    As we learned from watching “The X-Files,” the truth is out there…but it seems it left planet earth.

    1. Most of MSM is OK, and legacy newspaper do separate reporting snd opinion. But many readers don’t understand the difference. My advice to people is to use more than one news source. Unfortunately, most people are too lazy or only want to hear THEIR bersion of the truth.

  5. Your blog today harkens my memory back to the 1960s and 1970s. How did our protests over the Vietnam war and civil rights, some violent, look to those over 50? Is this not the same thing? Is it normal for an older generation to look down upon the different and changed views of a younger generation? We’re giving them a world they’ll inherit, and mold it into something they prefer; we on the other hand, will have to live with that, if in fact we’re still alive. And the world just keeps on turning.

    1. The protests against racial inequality and the war were based on REAL things. Protests in favoring of allowing men to compete against women, and “freeing” Palestine, and others, are based on lies.

  6. Who controls internet information or mostly false internet information. Each company is responsible to police what information can be produced and provided to the public. These current checks and balances are a total failure. What are the duties and functions of the Federal Communications Commission. Can they police the internet to ensure only factual information is provided to the reading public. The under 30 population are naive and ill informed about Hamas and their savage, murderous actions against the innocent people of Israel. If fictional information is continually provided through internet companies to the easily indoctrinated we are headed to a generational war in our country in the coming years. Policing the internet is long overdue. Hopefully centrists Republican and Democrats in congress can initiate a long term solution.

    1. What is a fact?
      Israel says they have the facts about the October 7 savagery.
      Hamas has what they consider facts about Israeli oppression.
      The Democrats believe they have facts about January 6.
      The Republicans believe that the videos show a different set of facts.
      Biden says the facts prove that inflation is easing.
      The people have facts that say otherwise.
      Each side says they have definitive facts about climate change.
      Who decides which set of facts are correct?
      The same government that said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction?
      The same media that swore Trump colluded with Russia?
      The same politicians who said Dominion voting machines were corrupted?
      I think the fault lies in our educational system, which teaches pronouns, sex and DEI instead of proper research processes, critical thinking, and proper rhetorical skills. We have also become deficient in personal moral foundations, so that we cannot tell the difference between resistance and evil terror.
      I don’t know what the solution is, but I certainly don’t want the government to tell me what is true and what is not.

  7. As always, you’re spot on. Spouse and I enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday with niece’s in-laws and extended family and all Jewish (I was the only Italo-Americano & Roman Catholic). At this point, the gathering is a mix of (we) aging Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and emerging Generation Z. Several of those gathered have family in Israel. In our conversations regarding the Israeli Hamas war and conflict, we are on the side of Israel and expressing concern for all victims of the conflagration. And there is also still a deep-seated sense of disgust towards the initial terrorist attack and the extent and enormity of the atrocities committed against innocent victims. We all mostly express a firm resolve to stand with Israel and agree that the IDF must carry out the mission to the logical end, annihilation of Hamas and an eventual reckoning with its puppet handler, the Mullahs in Tehran, Iran. Towards the end of our evening, I had an enlightening and extended conversation with a young 30s member of the family. She’s a brilliant and degreed scientific professional and she told me that she is troubled by her community of liberal friends, allies and like-thinkers who have turned against Israel. She disclosed that her primary news sources are podcasts of “scholars” who have a remarkable bias against Israel. She admits to liking A.O.C. and completely agreed with the total picture of the BLM thing and other liberal/leftist agenda. She does not know what to do now in regard to her social/political standing with these folks, news sources and colleagues whose like-minded general liberal philosophy is taking a hostile turn and stance against her as a Jew and as a person with cousins in Israel. (Her late father was an immigrant from Israel.) I told her that after more than 50 years as a Democrat, this spring I felt that the party left me, and I made official the end of our relationship by registering as an Independent. I counseled her to consider other news sources such as the major media outlets (discriminatorily) and more importantly to consider listening to different political points of view. I also recommended reading some works by Cicero to whet her appetite for authentic classical sources of wisdom. Why all this detail? This and other conversations with the 30 somethings there Thursday evening, left me with the impression that the way our young were educated and how they now lead their lives and “connect” mostly via social media platforms with the world is very troubling and portends trouble for the future of our republic.

  8. Thank you for acknowledging the 60th anniversary of the assassination of the President of the United States a few days ago. There was not a crowded field of news agencies reporting this historic event. That evening, I was in the presence of a 33-year-old who has spent her entire life in the same township. She graduated from the same high school as Prime Minister Netanyahu. She has somehow amassed 900K+ followers on Tik Tok and often proclaims “Tik Tok is where lies go to die.” Hmmm. As you might suspect, she is an Israeli hater (which is different than a Palestinian supporter.) All of her insights on this matter are provided by Tik Tok, of course. She stoutly refuses to even seek alternative views.

    The Kennedy assassination is the single most topic I have spent reading about. So, it pains me to see a lack of interest in this area by almost every media outlet. For example, the History Channel was so enthused they ran five or six consecutive Pawn Stars episodes without one nod to actual history. At 8pm on that evening I found a one-hour show on PBS about the Warren Commission. So, I turned it on at the objection of the 33-year-old who preferred to watch Celebrity Jeopardy. I felt compelled to remind her that one show is covering an event that shaped history from the second half of the 20th century right up to present day and the other featured a bunch of unknown “wannabes” whose questions will be “dumbed down” to accommodate their intellect. After about 10 minutes of staring at her phone, presumably Tik Tok, she left.

    I realize this is only one example, but it is real. Thank you.

  9. I still don’t understand howTic-Toc is not banned in the United States. I did not send my kid to college to get mindless information from a seemingly enemy nation. Luckily she doesn’t. I’ve got more “real” information from a fortune cookie.
    There is trouble coming to this side of the world,and we need to know who our friends are. We need to help and prepare those friends now. Letting Hamas exist is just a thorn in the side of the free world. We must help Israel and the Ukraine survive,or the loss may be ours.

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