An older generation complaining that an emerging one will be the death of civilization as we know it is a cliche and constant as the North Star. However, based on some rather troubling data regarding today’s millennials, it could turn out to be true this time.
In his first inaugural address as governor of California 47 years ago, Ronald Reagan warned us that “freedom is a fragile thing, and is never more than one generation away from extinction.” He also reminded us that freedom “is not ours by inheritance but must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people.” Finally, Reagan ominously noted that “those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”
Unfortunately, the next generation is woefully ill-equipped to inherit the legacy of American exceptionalism, let alone repair it after the damage done before them by the baby boom generation’s fiscal irresponsibility and moral relativism. Millennials appear to be detached from every foundation necessary for self government: personal responsibility, morality and strong families.
For example, according to author and columnist Janice Shaw Crouse, a whopping 70 percent of American males between the ages of 20-34 are single and living in a state of “perpetual adolescence.” These are obviously prime reproductive years and most young men appear to be sitting them out, or at the very least they’re inseminating and then splitting as evidenced by an out-of-wedlock birth rate that has soared to 41 percent of all childbirths, according to the CDC. Furthermore, U.S. census data points out that almost one-third of millennials are still living at home with either mom and/or dad.