On the one hand, the unduly passionate Jill Filipovic asks the most pressing question on the minds of Millennials, with the exception of where their next bag of Cheetos is coming from:
Does Anyone Actually Want Joe Biden to Be President?
Unsurprisingly, she conflates the argument that Biden is the most electable of the 600 candidates for the Democratic nomination with the question of why that might be, since there’s nothing about Biden that appeals to Filipovic, and therefore no one could possibly want him to be president because she knows stuff.
Bret Stephens, a never-Trump conservative, takes up the challenge.
Earlier this month, a video of Joe Biden saying he had “no empathy” for “the younger generation” that “tells me how tough things are” resurfaced on social media. The video was over a year old, but it elicited predictable howls from members of the dissed demographic. “Nothing says ‘perfect candidate to lead the most powerful nation in the world’ like ‘I have no empathy,’” wrote someone with the Twitter handle @anarchopriapism.
Of course, Biden won’t be starting a clothing line for women called “No Empathy,” as he’s been at the forefront of the campus rape scam, but this is a minor disconnect from his generational observations.
In this election cycle, no faction on the Democratic side more richly deserves rebuking than the one Biden singled out — which is not, of course, anywhere close to the entire millennial generation (roughly 80 million strong), or their younger siblings in Gen Z. But it is that part of these younger generations that specializes in histrionic self-pity and moral self-righteousness, usually communicated via social media with maximum snark.
This is where the kids start shouting at their Gen X and Boomer parents about how it’s not their fault, we ruined the world and this is just their way of dealing with it, by twitting from the basement couch, twitting outrage to bask in the warm glow of victimhood.
All of these struggle sessions play to the sound of chortling twenty-somethings, who have figured out that, in today’s culture, the quickest way to acquire and exercise power is to take offense. This is easy to do, because the list of sins to which one may take offense grows with each passing year, from the culturally appropriated sombrero to the traditionally gendered pronoun.
The oddity is that this power flows outward. Kids go after people they don’t know, people who don’t know they exist, and other kids who claim to be reporters take it seriously. But why? I get dozens of random young people twitting “sincere questions,” challenges and shitposts at me all day long, as if this is going to change my mind.
You know what they aren’t doing, what they can’t do? They join their herd to go after people they will never know because they can’t go after mommy and daddy. Or mommy and mommy. Whatever. You see, us old folks have kids. We have our own. I have my own. If I want to have a discussion with a child about an issue of significant social import, I’ll do it over dinner. I’ll do it looking at their face, knowing who they are.
The difference is that I love my kids. I don’t share similar feelings about random little shits sending me gifs and dank memes. So when my kids feel particularly passionate about something, it’s worthwhile for me to talk to them about it, to hear them out, to understand their feelings. And it’s similarly worthwhile for them to hear mine, which they’re more inclined to do if for no other reason than they know where the Cheetos come from.
Filipovic may be overflowing with passion, but why does she suspect other people care about her feelings? Yet, she’s hardly alone in this, as most of the random little shits who twit @ me suffer the narcissism and arrogance that their feelings are important. If so, let them take it home to dinner and have a nice talk with their folks, because they’re not going to move me with their tears and angst. They can save their self-pity and self-righteousness for someone who gives a shit. I don’t care what other people’s kids feel. I’ve got my own.