The Misdirected Rage of Young Rioters

These ongoing protests in American cities are anything but peaceful, but they are driven by a variety of factors.

 Recently a group of young aspiring anarchists attempted to take their Antifa tactics into a peaceful neighborhood. They were prevented from doing so, however, by several armed citizens who told them, firmly, to turn around. The whining that ensued was delicious, including: “We are peaceful! You pointed a gun at my face!” To which a resident replies, “That’s why you’re peaceful.” The protestors, obviously realizing they were outgunned, turned around and left.

Part of what we are dealing with in these violent protests, particularly when we see them being carried out by predominantly white people on behalf of Black Lives Matter nonsense, is a spoiled, enabled, and poorly educated generation or two. We shouldn’t be so surprised when we see them looting, rioting, and tearing down statues. 

Clearly they’ve never been told “no” in their lives. 

There are a lot of factors involved in this ongoing ridiculousness. Some of it is attributable tothe self-esteem movement of the 1990s, when children were always told they were the best—even if they really weren’t. We should be honest: there’s a reason the words “average” and “median” exist, at the same time the words “winners” and “losers” likewise exist. 

Because they’re real. 

Because in the real world, many fall within the parameters of average—average looks, average intelligence, and so on. This isn’t meant to be harsh. It’s just the reality of the world and how it works. This is why some people truly win (they don’t just hand out Super Bowl trophies or Olympic medals) and why many actually lose. 

But generations have been told they’re all winners. “Participation trophies for everyone!” was the norm as those pathetic awards were passed out like candy without the recipients actually winning anything (existing isn’t winning, just so we’re clear). So now you have a spoiled and enabled generation believing that they’re the greatest, the “most best of the bestest,” with a collection of fluff awards cluttering their shelves. 

Add to that dynamic the fact that they’re being shipped off to indoctrination centers of higher learning where they are spoon-fed all these lies about how evil our country is, that this place is rotten to the core, and that it should just be burned to the ground. So when you feed all these lies to average kids who have never been taught to think in their entire lives, it’s almost inevitable you end up with the insufferable losers you see on the streets, raging in many ways like mindless animals.

What deepens their rage is that they’ve also been smacked in the face by the two-by-four of reality—despite the fact that they’ve been told that they’re the greatest all their lives, now they’re finding out that just maybe it actually isn’t true. 

They’ve graduated from indoctrination centers with worthless degrees that make them papered members of the idiocracy, saddled with staggering debt, but when they go into the real world they find out that outside the confines of mommy and daddy’s enabling they’re really not winners at all. They can’t find jobs, so they rage against the system they’ve been indoctrinated to believe is the source of all their troubles: that evil, free-market capitalist system that has betrayed them. They’re blaming the wrong system.

Instead, they ought to be blaming the indoctrination centers and the flawed parenting methodology according to which they were raised up to believe these lies. 

Blaming their woes on free-market capitalism is to be sucked in again by the people who lied to them in the first place. Belief in the ideology pushed by the people who failed to prepare them for life is at the heart of most of the problems we face today. 

Of course, we should also be clear that what these young people perceive as authentic free-market or “conservative” principles are nothing of the kind. In fact, they are attacking a bastardised version of “capitalism” implemented by American corporatists. They should join President Trump and other people on the America First Right in that fight if they really want to effect change. But that would require listening and thinking on their own.

Republicans and Conservatism, Inc. have failed because they’ve been seduced by corporatism. We don’t have a free market capitalist system in America today. We have a crony capitalist system, filled with vulture capitalists who manipulate markets and politics to their advantage. Yet these enraged young people think it is the real deal and want to burn “capitalism” in principle to the ground. They need to focus their targets and pay closer attention.

This culture and this system of lies have led them to nothing but disappointment and disillusionment. You don’t get participation trophies in life. You win, you lose, you succeed, you fail; and everyone who wins also loses a lot in life. That’s just life. It’s not supposed to be easy. 

Failure is how you learn to succeed. None of this is to say that we’re not all unique human beings created in the image and likeness of God. And of course we all have infinite value in His eyes. But it’s up to us to live up to God’s understanding of our capacities. Success is not simply handed out and we’re also not the best at everything we try. Who is?

We all have to work for what we want, we have to strive to reach our goals knowing we might not succeed.

It’s well past time we took a hard look at everything that has led us to this juncture in our history: from damaging self-esteem curricula to participation awards and from the tax benefits our higher education system gets to the corporatism enabled by both the Democratic and Republican uniparty. The rage of today’s young people is not unfairly felt, but it is misdirected. If we don’t fix these things together we’ll be fostering even more generational disillusionment. 

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About Ned Ryun

Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority. You can find him on Twitter @nedryun.

Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

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