High Hopes: The NYT editorial by David Brooks "What it Takes" is SO interesting. (See link below). I found myself shaking my head "yes" as I read it. I am a product of the late 1960's and attended Boston University, the so called "Berkeley of the East," at that time. I keep wondering where all those activists are now. Where are the students and professors I knew then who imbued me with a sense of purpose and hope? It is as if they vanished into thin air. Future generations since that time have never been, it seemed to me, as committed to principle or as vociferous about it. They seemed to simply go along to get along.
Where is that generation that was supposedly going to change the world for the better, of course? I do not see the fervently principled youth today that I saw as a student during those turbulent times. Those years were my BEST years. They were the years I loved the most as I look back on my life. I wish hopelessly for a return. Why? Because we had values that meant something and we were NOT afraid to say or, yes, even to scream what they were.
Elena Kagan seems like she went along to get along BUT my visceral feeling is thus: I think Elena Kagan's values are much like the vocal students of my era although she KNEW that politics is a minefield. If she wanted to shoot for the top one utterance of one's point of view could mean certain defeat.
I am hoping Barack Obama, too, is cut from that same cloth. In the end when it is Obama's SECOND term should he get it and when Elena Kagan IS confirmed should she be, that both will show us the reflection of my generation's values which they have osmotically ingested. I suspect it is only when they both have nothing to lose that they will show their true colors to be that of the gallant liberals I think lie dormant within them. I may be hoping against hope but it is the ONLY hope I have.