15. Youth Beyond the Politics of Hope
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Youth Beyond the Politics of Hope
The counter-revolution that has gripped the United States since the late 1980s has been somewhat modified with the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. Unfortunately the dark times that befell us under the second Bush administration have far from disappeared, especially for young people. The assault that the second Bush administration waged on practically every remnant of the public good—from the Constitution to the environment to public education—appears to have somewhat lessened its grip as the Obama regime moves into its second year in power. Yet the range, degree, and severity of the problems the Obama team has inherited from the Bush administration seem almost too daunting to address successfully: a war raging in two countries, a legacy of torture and secret prisons, a dismantling of the regulatory apparatus, a poisonous inequality that allocates resources to the rich and misery to the poor, an imperial presidency that shredded the balance of power, a looming ecological apocalypse, a ruined reputation abroad, and a financial crisis that is almost unprecedented in American history—policies and conditions that have brought great suffering to millions of Americans and many millions more throughout the world. But the crisis that is most often forgotten or repressed in the daily headlines of gloom is the war that is being waged at home, primarily against young people, who have historically been linked to the promise of a ← 149 | 150 → better...
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