Sam puts an arm around her, adding, “Yeah, but I’ve seen you play crowds of 5,000 people, and you see fans that traveled hundreds of miles to hear you sing….”
“I know, you’re right,” Ellie says with a smile. “Yeah, that’s when I know I’m doing the right thing.”
I ask them about politics. They are very passionate about their conservative values and equally passionate about what Republicans are doing wrong.
“Young people are fed up of with hearing ‘left and right’, ‘Democrat and Republican’—all of it gets tossed up like a salad and ends up just making you angry and confused,” Sam says. “You guys have to find a way to get the message across that this is all about our money. All of it comes down to money, and who exactly is taking our money away from us.”
Sam believes all the conservative-speak about taxes and small government is lost on most young people today.
“Talking about their future and how their ‘grandchildren will have to pay’ is pointless when you don’t believe you have a future to look forward to in the first place,” Sam says.
“When I’m in restaurants I talk to the real people—the waiters and busboys– and ask if they’re doing better now than they were four years ago,” he says. “Almost every time, they say ‘no’. They tell me about someone in their life, either themselves or their parents or their friends, who are either homeless or jobless and looking for work. This is the worst it’s ever been in my life, and I’ve had a very rough life.”
Ellie adds, “My friends love Obama. They talk about how he’s going to save us all. They say he’s the only politician who’s ever cared about them…”
Sam animatedly says, “And that’s the problem, right there! Obama’s got ‘the message’ and it’s very, very simple: ‘I will help you.’ It doesn’t matter whether he can actually do it or not, and it doesn’t even matter if he’s the reason their lives suck—he comes across as the only person who can or will help them … [Conservatives] ha[ve] to find a way to get the message across in simple terms, without a lot of words and rhetoric – that [they]’re the ones who can actually help you … But so far no one’s been able to do that.”
“The old-school Republicans are what turned so many people our age off,” says Ellie. “After the Bush years, people hated Republicans. Hated them. They hated anyone that even looked like a Republican.”
“We know who the Democrats really are, what they stand for, what they’ve done,” Ellie says. “But most kids our age just don’t know these things—no one is telling them in a way that makes them listen.”
Sam says, “Look at the Occupy Movement and what a screwed up bunch of people that was—even they couldn’t explain what they wanted. They’re hearing so many mixed messages, so many lies on TV and in college and they don’t know who or what to believe anymore. And until someone finds a way to get through to them, they’re unfortunately the future—and this cycle is going to keep going on and on until there’s nothing left of our country.”
When Sam and Ellie leave, I feel a combination of sadness and hope for them. They have more than most because they have each other; their love exudes all around them. But can they make it in such a crazy, backwards town and in this grim, volatile economy? As they drive away I notice a “Who is John Galt?” bumper sticker on their car. I smile.
With kids like this in California, I have hope that things are not as lost as they sometimes seem.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.
Pages: 1 2