For years, Americans have been told that millennials are our future. Barack Obama told them, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Young people were supposed to lead us to the Golden Age of Tolerance, the Technological Age of Wisdom. The White House website quotes President Obama, explaining:
Regardless of your political affiliation, you’ve got to be involved, especially the young people here. Your generation. If you don’t give us a shove, if you don’t give the system a push, it’s just not going to change and you’re going to be the ones who end up suffering the consequences. But if you are behind it, if you put the same energy and imagination that you put into Facebook into the political process, I guarantee you, there’s nothing we can’t solve.
Well, there may be a few things we can’t solve. Like simple reading comprehension problems, for example. And how to stop living in mom’s basement.
Truth be told, millennials are the least useful generation in America. By a long shot. Here are seven indicators that this is so:
They Think Colbert Should Be President. According to the latest Fusion poll, Hillary Clinton handily defeats all comers among millennials. But their real preference is for Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, who spends his time playing a mock-up of the worst stereotypes about conservatives. 19 percent of millennials say that they’d like to see him as president, versus 17 percent each for Jon Stewart and Tina Fey. Dave Chappelle clocks in at a competitive 15 percent.
They Don’t Know Anything About Politics. Seventy seven percent of millennials couldn’t name a senator from their home state, according to the Fusion poll. But they do love the government – 57 percent say that government is helpful rather than harmful. In fact, according to a Reason Foundation poll from 2014, millennials hate both political parties but somehow have a higher opinion of Congress than any other age group, and 42 percent favor socialism over capitalism.
They Don’t Know Anything About Money. According to a 2013 Bank of America/USA Today survey, millennials say they’re smart with their cash. They’re not. Over half admit they’re “living from paycheck to paycheck,” according to CNBC.com, and “many are still living with or living off their parents.” More than one in three still draw cash or resources from mom and dad. But one in three are also saving for vacations, and they’re saving for vacations rather than homes. But good news: over 80 percent say they’ll be richer than their parents.
They Disproportionately Oppose Vaccination. According to a recent YouGov poll, young people oppose vaccination more than any other age group. One in five millennials believe that vaccines cause autism, a scientifically-disproven nostrum trotted out by idiots in Marin County. A plurality of millennials therefore believe that government should not mandate vaccinations for diseases like measles, mumps, and whooping cough, as opposed to large majorities of those of older generations who actually remember what the world was like when people died of polio.
They Smoke. These medical geniuses also smoke more than other generations. According to Ipsos, 23 percent of millennials admit to smoking, more than 35-54 year olds or even those aged 55+. More than one in three young people admit to hiding their cigarette use from others. Because they’re responsible and all.
They’re Lazy. A 2014 YouGov poll shows that 69 percent of Americans think those under 30 are lazy. Even a majority of young people, 55 percent, say that their generation is lazier than past generations. Overall, 31 percent of people aged 18-29 think adults over 30 are harder workers than they are. Sixty percent of Americans think that millennials lack purpose. It’s hard to argue when millennials are still whining about student loans and Obamacare at age 26, which is probably why 57 percent of people under 30 agree that they lack purpose.
They’re High on Self-Esteem. Thanks to their perennial adolescence, helped along by parents, media, and government, millennials believe they’re smarter than they are, and certainly wait to involve themselves in social institutions like marriage, which would require them to stop being selfish jackasses. As sociologist Jean Twenge writes, millenials are uninterested in the society around them, less likely to help the environment, less likely to “say they wanted a job that was helpful to others or was worthwhile to society.” Twenge skews left, by the way.
As Dinesh D’Souza relates in his biography of Ronald Reagan, when Reagan was governor of California, he confronted a college antiwar protest. As he drove away in his limousine, one of the protesters held up a sign reading, “We are the future.” Reagan promptly grabbed a piece of paper, scribbled something on it, and held it up to the window. It read: “I’ll sell my bonds.”
It may be time for us to sell our bonds.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.