Opinion: Out with the old, in with the new

Jake Crissman

Jake Crissman

Jake Crissman is a sophomore English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

There is a man attending this school who looks just like Joaquin Phoenix. What his name is, I no longer remember. But what I do recall are his words, which have stuck with me for weeks now. He said that when our generation is in power and has control over this nation, many things will be different. We already think radically different from our parents. The country will be a better and much more tolerant place.

I am paraphrasing, of course, but the message still holds true.

Spot on, I thought. I wanted to believe in what he was saying: that someone like me could be elected into office and have a sit-down with the leaders of the world and just hash out our differences and solve everything. Thoughts like these paraded across my mind. My mind, albeit, was a little hazy and foggy from a long night of excess and indulgence — the perfect conditions for deep political philosophy discussion.

There’s no denying that as time goes on we as a whole become more tolerant. It wasn’t that long ago that segregation was a law, and now it’s incomprehensible to even contemplate how people could view it as a viable edict. Now the great civil rights battle of our time is the fight for gay rights, which I feel aren’t that far away — hopefully.

I guess the real changes will start taking place once all of the intolerant, backwards-thinking old voters die off. They are doing nothing but holding everybody else back with their nonprogressive ways. They are from a different time and therefore have no clue as to what this time wants or needs. I realize that they’re entitled to their opinions as well, but should we really be valuing the agendas of a bunch of racist, homophobic, sexist and religiously intolerant people who have grown old?

I suppose that every generation has had this view: We’re the future and the ways of the established order just won’t work for us. Well, maybe it’s just a sense of rebellion that’s ingrained in us. Maybe we just hate that there’s a system that has been around since before our birth that rules over us and tells us what to do and what’s right and what’s wrong. Maybe a hundred years from now people will be sick of how things are going and want to start moving backwards just to show the people in charge what’s up. The motto of that time will still be the one that it is today and was a hundred years ago: Out with the old, in with the new.

Well, I sure hope not. It’s probably just wishful thinking, but I hope that eventually we’ll be at a copacetic point in history where everyone just loves and accepts each other. Who knows if this day will ever come to be, but one thing is for sure: We are all going to die, so why don’t we try to make this world a happier place, for everybody, before we leave it?