Jonathan Richie BW.tif

I care deeply about newspapers. It’s the main reason I moved here–to work for a newspaper, one of the most historic and important American institutions.

I’m a millennial, so I also care a lot about myself.

Here is an excerpt of a Peggy Noonan column that appeared in the Wall Street Journal over the holidays that got my blood boiling.

In the last two years I have been moving more toward the center with my politics because both sides are insane and out for blood right now.

“The left-wing millennials will rise because the young always do. It’s tempting to compare the rise of the left in the party now with the 1970s and the rise of the old New Left. Boomer leftists then were mad at American over the war, and some of them had read Marx for the first time. But they loved America, and they went on to show that love as the work horses they were–the first to put the lights on in the office or the institution in the morning, the last to put them off at night.

“The rising millennial left seems to love high abstractions-economic justice, global movements for change. But they weren’t raised in a patriotic age, they weren’t taught what in America is admirable, even noble. Do they love America? Do they love this thing we have and are part of in the same moist-eyed way Americans have in the past? It’s unclear. But if they don’t, when they triumph we’re in trouble.”

Noonan is correct on that last point, when we rise to power the older generation is in trouble.

I take offense to many of the things in those two paragraphs. My biggest issue with this Washington elitist columnist – “Do they love America?”

Does she not realize we were in school when 9/11 happened. We saw more patriotic images than almost anyone at the most impressionable age.

I also saw patriotism in my grandfather, Leroy Schannauer, who served this country during the Korean War and my Uncle Barry who served in Korea and Vietnam.

They have both passed away now, but they knew how much I loved this country. I saw the love of this country in middle and high school when I marched with the school band in the Memorial Day parade. We would turn onto the route beginning on Appleton Avenue and march a few odd miles with the streets flooded with American flags. Then we found out, although the terrorist attack was a tragedy, the war this country went to in the Middle East was based on BS intel and in 2003 former National Security adviser Colin Powell lied to the United Nations about the threat of Iraq and “weapons of mass destruction.”

My generation does not like being lied to. Especially by the government.

In that respect we are like the young people of the 1970s, mainly following the release of the Pentagon Papers which reported few people if any, in the government, thought victory could be attained in Vietnam.

So maybe we are not so different? And maybe our country is going in a giant circle.