Letter to the Editor: Call to arms

Hello everybody. This is what I call a confessional letter. I used to have a real fire in me. I wanted a revolution, I really did. I saw how our institutions were stacked, filled by power hungry overachievers or family members from the day I set foot in public school. I wanted to end that. America has hit rock bottom. George W. Bush is now our president. We saw it all on TV. We see everything on TV. We are a passive, divided, disoriented nation. We have forgotten our purpose – if we ever had one. We cannot rely on Steven Spielberg to manufacture us a purpose. We are going to have to put down the remote control and do it for ourselves. And now we have an incentive called President Bush.

As a young person today, I feel so lost and alienated by our political system. And right now I feel like turning the channel off. I feel like walking out on it all. I do not feel like being an American. I am proud of very little that has to do with me being connected to this place called the United States.

I voted for Ralph Nader. So perhaps I sold out the American people right after the Democratic Party did. Maybe this is my fault. But I was praying for a better future, and I tried to work for it.

Do you want to blame me, America? Blame me. But after you blame me, blame yourselves because you failed to put down the remote control and walk outside to do something about this.

I ask all of you activists out there who got into this for whatever reason not to be judgmental but to help me. Help me rekindle the flame that has almost been snuffed out by pessimism and cynicism like our whole generation’s hope was snuffed out as we were born into the aftermath of Watergate and the Vietnam War. Maybe we never had a chance from the start. But we are going to have to take what we can, because it is obvious that no one is going to give it to us.

I ask young America two questions: what can we do, and are we really serious about it?

-Justin Petrone

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