posts 31 - 36 of 36
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 21

Originally posted by Regina_Phalange on October 14, 2020 15:55

I greatly believe that people today are operating with distrust in society. We have been able to analyze America, and realize that it was founded on bloodshed and inequality, not the idea that everyone deserves equal rights. Realizing that the system has been created to keep certain people from prospering, has led to the distrust of the government and society. People are now angry, because since the civil rights movement, people have fought for change, but now with Trump as president, it has become apparent that we haven’t come as far as we should have.

I believe that we are living through a pivot. I have more trust in generation Z than in some members of other generations, and I believe that people are fed up. This cycle of inequality has gone on far enough, and I believe that many members of the younger generation also see that. I completely agree with razzledazzle8 that through protests, and pushing government officials to take action, we are making it clear what should be done. The younger generation has many different ways of educating themselves on issues, and I believe that there are many great people in higher positions who are fighting for change now. Ultimately, I believe that our generation has the potential to improve this country.

When I hear that the US is the best, I roll my eyes. I do this because it is ridiculous that the US still has so much inequality. There are police terrorizing people, income inequality, and big corporations still polluting the earth like crazy. There are so many issues that boil down to equality, and people just not wanting people of color to succeed or even be heard. I do not think equality should be negotiable, so therefore the US is not perfect, and I will not act like it is. Schools portray it that way, but it’s just not true.

I have grown up in the age of disappointment. Now that we have realized how messed up this country is, it makes staying hopeful pretty difficult. The article went into the US’s issue with depression and anxiety, and I believe that along with other factors, that may also stem from so many issues that are going on, and one feeling like what we are doing is not enough, and if the government won’t help, people will continue struggling.

I agree that we see ourselves as outsiders to the system. Brooks stated that we have come to see institutions as evil, even loathing them. I think that definitely stems from the distrust we feel due to inequality, and even a feeling of helplessness. I also think that people see themselves as outsiders because they believe that they had no part in creating the system which harms us, and therefore they don’t feel it’s their fault.

I believe that Covid and the killing of George Floyd have amplified the distrust many Americans feel towards the government. Watching how the president of the United States refuses to denounce white supremacy, and denies systemic racism, makes people of color in the US feel very afraid, and unprotected by the government. Seeing the same president hold huge rallies right after being hospitalized with Covid is also unsettling because Covid does not go away, and the president doesn’t take it seriously. This is all in addition to the fact that Breonna Taylor’s murderers are free, and despite protests happening daily throughout the country, the president and others portray the police as heroes and protesters as the bad guys. These issues keep piling up, because the government won’t take action. People are just going to become more angry and speak up even more.

I wanted to amplify what you said about how this generation just has an overall sense of being fed up. I totally agree with your point on how people are so sick and tired of this cycle of injustice in our country and Generation Z has definitely become more active in calling out these injustices and fitting for change. I believe that our generation will be responsible for a lot of change that this country will soon face and im proud to be a member of it! This year I believe has one of the largest voter turnouts so far which I think proves your point even more. Our generation recognizes the importance of voting and they will let their voices be heard whether that's on a far smaller scale like a voting booth or ballot.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 21

Disappointment and Distrust

Brooks says that our generation lives in an “age of disappointment,” and I completely agree.

It’s not hard to call it that when you look at all that has happened in the past few years: school shootings, a pandemic and climate change just to name a few. Brooks believes that these events have stunted our growth, claiming that our “sense of safety went away,” leaving us “incapable of handling real-world stress.” This seems like a harsh conclusion until you realize that only 19% of Millennials believe that most people can be trusted.

While the Baby Boomers flourished in stability and prosperity, Millenials and Gen Z, “grew up in a world in which institutions failed, financial systems collapsed, and families were fragile. … Their worldview is predicated on threat, not safety.” Though our generations were gifted with the accomplished minds of activists such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg, we still face many obstacles such as insecurity, which falls into four categories: financial, emotional, identity, and social. Financial: at the average age of 35, Baby Boomers made up 21% of the nation’s wealth. 60 years later, Millennials averaging 35 years-old own just 3.2 percent. Emotional: several elements impact the emotional insecurity of Americans today (more single-parent households, depression and higher suicide rates). Identity: seeing that we live in “liquid modernity,” self-creation has become more important than ever. People are expected to develop their identity, morality and other traits on their own. Social: with the rise of social media, people have become increasingly aware of other people’s opinions of themselves, leaving our generation “‘always at the mercy of the next person’s dim opinion of you and your whole deal.’”

Our generation is also living in a society of distrust. As a result of receiving very little to wrong information about certain topics, much of our generation has grown up sheltered from the harsh realities of the world. @ilikekiwis pointed this out, saying, “We are given so much to ensure our beliefs that America is a great country, yet many events and atrocities are left out or skimmed over. We know names, not realities. Everyone has heard of the Cold War, but little at our age know what happened and what its effects were.” Considering the incidents that have happened in the past 10 months, I think that 2020 is definitely a wake up call for many people, especially our generation. It is only a matter of whether or not they take action, further highlighting the importance of the upcoming election.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 22

A Lot to Think About

I agree with David Brooks that we live in an era of low trust. People do not seem to trust each other, or the government. In his words, “People feel disgusted by the state of society. Trust in institutions plummets. Moral indignation is widespread. Contempt for established power is intense.” The country is intensely divided, and it has all come to a head in 2020, with the pandemic, Black Lives Matter movement and presidential election all occuring within a single year. Many Americans feel they have no control over their lives and have no idea what the future holds, and the fear these feelings cause further divide the nation. Brooks seems to think a decline is more likely than a pivot, but I think it is still too early to tell. I think that election night and the following days and weeks will give us a more definitive answer.

It is hard to think of the United States as the greatest nation on Earth when one knows all the people who had to suffer so the country could “succeed”. I do think that for a while, the United States was at the leading edge of new technology, and while there are still many innovative companies in the United States, it is no longer miles ahead of the competition, and high inequalities, both racial and economic, put it behind many other nations.

As a member of Gen Z, I think I have grown up in an age of disappointment. Most social media platforms are filled with the stories of millennials, not much older than me, who graduated from college saddled with debt they cannot repay because they could not get good enough jobs. Their pessimistic view of the future has trickled down to my generation. Further, it seems hard to identify the events that led to such widespread misery, and people seem to point to the system now. If so much is going wrong, only the government, or a mysterious, other “they” could be responsible.

I agree with lavagirl that the media is responsible for a lot of the division, as people are now so used to hearing “fake news” from different sources that they do not believe in anything, even when it flies in the face of all logic to do so.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 16

Disappointing Time to Live In..

As most of us grew up in America, we’ve heard countless stories of how America is glorified and glamorized. This glorification is integrated into our educational system so it makes it very hard to ignore. This starts very early in primary education when the first thing every little kid is forced to learn about is Columbus and his “great contributions” to America. Imagine how cruel this is, you are enforcing and teaching kids of varying skin colors and backgrounds about how great their colonizer was at an extremely young age, omitting how much suffering they’ve gone through to even be in America today. To this day, there are still so many of us who celebrate Columbus Day and celebrating the same man that forcefully stole land from indigenous peoples, forced them into slavery, and exposed so many different people to disease and forced labor.

So when I hear “the United States is the greatest nation in the world” or as Brooks writes “for centuries, America was the greatest success on earth, a nation of steady progress, dazzling achievement and growing international power,” I feel my stomach turn at what Americans did at the cost of success. I think in this day and age, America has already lost the position of power because the government is doing such a bad job controlling its citizens and regulating the country in times of a pandemic like this compared to countries that aren’t necessarily as “successful” and powerful as us. Americans need to stop regarding themselves as the top of the top because all it takes is one step down to realize how easy it is to solve so many issues we have going on. With the pandemic, we first thought that it would never hit our country as hard because we are a first world country and we would be able to move on very quickly. This wasn’t the case and because of our recklessness at approaching the problem, we are still stuck in quarantine and online school unlike our global counterparts.

I think that people are operating in this moment as they seem to be because they have strong distrust of our society. Agreeing with Facinghistorystudent, I think that we’ve been betrayed by our very own government and people time after time and it makes it hard for us to ever put trust back in them again and much less the people around us. There’s been so many divides between the American people such as racial divides and also the pandemic that we have yet to resolve so we can’t be quick to move on to resolving our problems with trust. I think Crunchysnowball worded it well in that the country is in an economic decline and a moral pivot. There has been an increasing trend of job losses during the pandemic which definitely affected America as a whole but quarantine also leaves us so much more time to educate ourselves about issues that people around us face. This is collectively a bad time for America but we can also take this as an amazing time to learn especially with so many issues that are enlarged because of how bored people are in constant quarantine.

I do think that I have grown in the “age of disappointment”. Agreeing with Razzledazzle8, our generation alone has lived through school shootings, racism, civil unrest, economic recession and now a full blown pandemic. It’s extremely disappointing to think about when we are forced to choose between two very extreme and bad options for president and we are so wary that we have to take into consideration which candidate is “less worse” when we vote. From the article it was mentioned that “This spring, nearly a third of Americans were convinced that it was probably or definitely true that a vaccine existed but was being withheld by the government. When Trump was hospitalized for COVID-19 on October 2, many people conspiratorially concluded that the administration was lying about his positive diagnosis for political gain”, which was just so absurd when you think about how there’s a possibility that our government has a possible vaccine invented for Covid-19 yet it could only be used by the president.

I agree with what Yuval Levin argues because I can see how he came to that conclusion. In high-trust eras, the people are close with each other and actually respect their government so therefore when faced with a problem, they will ask what they themselves can do because they have trust in their power when they are united. In lower-trust eras, the people aren’t connected nor trust one another so there isn’t the common consensus to ask what they can do for the problem which they turn to blame the government for failing them instead.

With Covid-19 being introduced to us in March, we start to see the lack of competence and ineffectiveness of our government and leaders to take action and as a result this puts all 328.2 million of Americans at risk. The killing of George Floyd definitely made people question the flaws within the system which we all used to believe was perfect and unproblematic. It made people question authority because we start to see everything that they do to abuse their authority. It made the people fear the government and wanting to take actions into their own hands because it’s their future that they’re fighting for. If anything Covid-19 and the George Floyd issue made our generation more woke and helped so many of us realize we do have a voice in issues happening today and how we can utilize it to come as one and face greater problems.

Posts: 18

Embarrassed to be American

The current atmosphere of America is full of distrust. I think the phrases “Age of Precarity” and “Age of Disappointment” depict our situation well. Many feel uncertain of their futures because they see so many instances of fellow Americans being put down by the government and being ignored by the rest of society. Black Americans are so obviously discriminated against, and the Black Lives Matter movement made it so the prejudice against them was impossible to ignore. Still, blatant disregard for the movement and opposition to it strengthened the distrust people had for one another, and I think those who still had lingering hope in society quickly became very disappointed. If people will not stand up for an issue as basic as human rights, how can anything progress?

I hope that society will soon pivot, rather than decline, but I suspect that this will be mainly decided by the upcoming election. If Biden is elected, there will be new chances to change and Americans will feel as though progress actually is possible, and therefore pivot towards a better society. If Trump is reelected, the American psyche will only continue to become more despaired, as Brooks argues: "our moment of moral convulsion began somewhere around the mid-2010s, with the rise of a range of outsider groups: the white nationalists who helped bring Donald Trump to power.” Many people will lose hope that change is possible because they will have been through two elections where corruption wins.

“The United States is the greatest nation in the world” feels like a joke to me. Knowing that places like Scandinavia and other Nordic countries as well as many European countries try to be very proactive in dealing with social injustice and other problems like climate change, it is rather embarrassing that a country as militaristically and economically powerful as America is plagued by social unrest and cannot make any promising change. Brooks writes: “The sense of betrayal was magnified when people looked abroad. In nations that ranked high on the World Values Survey measure of interpersonal trust—like China, Australia, and most of the Nordic states—leaders were able to mobilize quickly, come up with a plan, and count on citizens to comply with the new rules.” Someone might argue that places like the Nordic countries are so different from America and less developed nations “like Brazil, Morocco, and Zimbabwe—[which] have struggling economies” because they were never invaded in history or are maybe less diverse and therefore have less social unrest. I think this is true, but it does not negate the fact that they display high functioning and motivated societies which our government can learn from.

Yuval Levin’s idea about using “we” in high-trust areas versus “they” is eye-opening to me. Thinking about just how I speak, I rarely use “we” when I talk about the state of America. I agree with @broskiii because I also feel like the government is never telling the whole truth. This feeling creates a divide between me and the country, and I hardly feel like I want to be American. I have never really felt a “we” attitude towards my fellow Americans because I do not trust anyone to have my back or make decisions while thinking about how it might affect me.

I like @HCK6614JD’s comment that COVID and George Floyd made almost everyone in Gen-Z question authority like they never have before. Already barely associating “trust” and “government,” I think the bond between Gen-Z and the government is unrepairable after the crises of this year.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 8

Lost of Trust in Government and Society

I think people are operating in this moment because they do not trust society. The injustice and the problems our nation needs to face are not being dealt with. The way Donald Trump is addressing systemic racism , police brutality, and Covid19 is causing more people to distrust him. Trump believes racism doesn't exist in this country even when Blacks people are being shot and killed by Police and white supremacies. He has lied to the American people about Covid19 and continues to spread misinformation about the virus. Most people will continue to distrust society until a different president is elected.

In the article, David Brooks says that when people do not trust the government and each other, the country will collapse. I believe there is a possibility of our nation collapsing if the current occupant of the white house is re-elected. The current state of our nation is weaker than before but things can still change if the people become more aware of our nation's problems. We need a president who will be powerful against those who seek to do harm and spread hate and helpful to those in need. The next president has to be a unifier who will be compassionate and empathic instead of being hateful, divisive, and harmful to our nation.

I would not consider America to be the greatest nation for most people unless you are straight white male. Our government is not doing enough for people who are struggling. Ethnic minorities have a difficult time living in America because of systemic racism and the existence of white supremacy. Others countries have universal health care and free college but we don't. People are living pay check to pay check in America because of the economic system America has. The minimum wage is not enough for people to live a comfortable life.

I definitely agree that we have grown up in the "age of disappointment". There problems America should have dealt with centuries ago still exist today. Most people have do not trust the government because they are not doing enough to help fix America. The American people should be able to have more of an impact on elections. The electoral college has to be abolished so that people know that their vote counts.

I agree with Yuval Levin. When you living in a low trust society you are only thinking about yourself since that would be the best way for you to survive and thrive. You would be more likely to help other people when you trust them. I would be more hospitable to a stranger who needs a place to stay at if I live in a country where everyone trusts each other.

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