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If My Classmates Are Indicative of My Generation, America is Fucked
By: Jessica  |  May 23, 2007

As much as I abhor the concept of government, and as much as I think patriotism has become the realm of those who feebly cling onto whatever propaganda bullshit that society funnels down their throats, I do have a special spot in my heart for the original concept of America. We're supposed to have basic rights that are above any law, any tyrant, any stupid clamoring of the masses, so when people want to willingly ignore and abolish these rights, I get pretty pissed. It all started when I was trying to recruit some of my classmates to help me start a local chapter of the NYRA.......

To get people on board, I wanted to pick a starting goal that could realistically be reached and which personally meant something to the youth of my community. To that effect, I chose to tell those whom I attempted to recruit that our first goal would be to repeal the local curfew law. A few people hopped right on at the mention of this, but these people were sadly in the minority. I soon ran into those who would willingly argue against their own rights. Not teachers, mind you, but fellow students, were throwing the whole book of ageist fallacies right at my face.

I asked these students if they were interested in joining a local chapter of the NYRA. I showed them one of the fliers that can be found on the website and I told them that our first local goal was going to be the repealing of the local curfew law. Within seconds, I could feel my brain getting smaller from the sheer predictability and imbecility of their retorts. First, I was given the argument that curfew was for our own safety. I had expected that much, and managed to counter with statistics proving otherwise, but they weren't interested in facts, merely their own impressions of how "dangerous" it was at night. Here's where I made my mistake: I attempted to argue in defense of freedom. I said that even if we ignore the physical proof that curfew laws cause more crime and problems than they prevent, it's still not the government's business to protect me in this situation. I reminded them that the First Amendment grants us the right to assemble, and that our rights are inalienable, even to the point of allowing us to do things that might endanger ourselves. I stated that if they wanted to be 'protected', fine, they could still stay inside if they want, but they should still respect the right of myself and others to come and go as we please. They continued to argue that the government knows what's best for us and that we should allow the government to protect us, even to the point of denying us our freedoms, saying that they wanted to be protected, even when it ignores their rights. I'm not twisting their words, someone really said that they'd rather be protected than have rights. I won't even go into their argument that rights are something we earn as we grow up, or that since they're almost 18 it doesn't affect them so why should they care, because that would be the topic of a completely separate, though no less important, rant on the sea of moronic apathy in which I find myself drowning daily.

Every time we allow our rights to be taken away from us in any shape or form, it is like pissing on the graves of anyone who has ever died for this country. America isn't special because of its wealth. You can find that in Hong Kong, a city that belongs to a communist dictatorship. It's certainly not our level of education, we're near the bottom of the list when it comes to education value among developed countries. And I can sure as hell tell you that we're not the most open-minded or accepting country, our Puritan background hints at that, and the behavior of our Evangelicals shouts this fact from the hilltops. What has made this country stand out, what has made it worth dying for, is the rights it grants us.

If we are willing to give up these beautiful, unique gifts from our Founding Fathers, then America loses all value, it ceases being worth defending or dying for. I don't give a flying fuck if our rights are sometimes dangerous or inconvenient, they were given to us and I'll be damned if they're violated except over my rotting, bloody corpse. However, if Americans are willing to believe that the rights of all America's inhabitants are less important than their perceived safety, then America might as well hand itself back over to Britain, as much fucking good it does us stripped of its one redeeming quality. The safety of our rights depends on the American people's will to demand and defend them, because the government will gladly remove them unless they are constantly pressured not to. I want to know: How is it that so many people are willing to submit to authority to the point that they might as well not be human, but an automaton? This is why I feel that if the youth rights movement fails, so will the great experiment we affectionately know as the United States of America. If people learn from a young age that they have no rights, that they should always submit to authority, that their free will and opinions don't matter, then they will carry this attitude into their adult lives, and soon all hope for a free country will be lost.

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