Feature 01.18.2024 6 minutes

The Zoomers Are Revolting

A blurred image of a young woman’s face

A generation that wanted for nothing grows up to hate everything.

It’s not news that children have always enjoyed rebelling against their parents. It’s hardwired in kids, maybe as an evolutionary defense mechanism so that even helicopter parents are inspired to help baby pack and get the hell out at 18.

Each of the last few generations has developed its own quirky spin on the perennial teenage impulse to rebel. Millennials rebelled by delaying “adulting” as long as they could—dressing like four-year-olds as they approached 40 in cargo shorts and superhero t-shirts, chomping edibles, and channeling repressed biological instincts into attachment-parenting their fur babies.

Grizzled Gen X seniors listened to Nirvana, drove drunk, and went to raves. (This hardly registered as a rebellion, since our boomer parents paid no attention to what we listened to or where we were at 2 AM.)

Rebellion in the form of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll has been part of the American teenage experience since those nutty hippie boomers invented it. Today’s aging liberals still identify as “radicals” and cling embarrassingly to anything marketed as “rebellious,” since it’s strongly associated with youthfulness. Liberals in their 40s think a saucy “Dump Trump” bumper sticker on their Chevy Volt makes them look young, hip, and “relevant.” It’s even cheaper than Botox!

But thanks largely to social media, trendy rebellions-of-the-week have replaced thoughtful political stances, and even retarded political stances—like abolishing light bulbs to save the planet.

Now they’re supporting literal Hamas? What a hilarious plot twist!

These darling Gen Z babyfaces have adorably rebranded Islamic terrorism into the hottest TikTok trend. If you’re not ripping down posters of raped and kidnapped Jews, what even are you doing? Answer: You’re looting CVS, blocking traffic to a busy airport, or defacing the local historic statue dedicated to a White Patriarch.

Zoomers are the most coddled, grade-inflated, participation-trophyed, intellectually atrophied, social-emotional-learning-addled demographic in human history. And yet, somehow, they are all very, very angry. They are disappointed in life. They are furious—with us.

International Ur-Zoomer Greta Thunberg gave us her generation’s plaintive “how dare you!” cri de coeur. Her lament has etched itself deep into the Zoomer soul. “How dare you!” they shout, as they desecrate a statue of Thomas Jefferson or glue their soft hands to the Interstate. “How dare you!” they shriek, as the Supreme Court returns abortion rights to the states, and they dump buckets of sheep’s blood over their own heads. “How dare you!” they chant, as Jews commit the unforgivable crime of existing while Jewish.

Even liberal lesbian movie stars have noticed. Jodie Foster just got canceled for telling Variety how she really feels about Zoomers: “They’re really annoying, especially in the workplace. They’re like, ‘Nah, I’m not feeling it today, I’m gonna come in at 10:30 am.’ Or, like, in emails, I’ll tell them this is all grammatically incorrect, did you not check your spelling? And they’re like, ‘Why would I do that, isn’t that kind of limiting?’”

Meanwhile, the Zoomers marinate in their hatred of us. They hate the United States. They super-duper hate Israel. In a December Harvard/Harris poll, 67% of 18-24 year-olds agree that “Jews as a class are oppressors and should be treated as oppressors.”

Not Jewish? You’re probably still on their sh*t list, since they also hate white people, rich people (except for Ms. Swift), unborn babies, and old people. They hate families, marriage, people who own homes, Christians, and good-looking people. But mostly the Zoomers blocking the Long Island Expressway—on Christmas Eve, in 38-degree weather, to stop you from getting to your parents’ house for Christmas—just hate themselves.

Revolting against everything is no longer just a time-worn exercise in youthful exuberance. It is their identity. A permanent lifestyle choice. Zoomers are getting vasectomies, renouncing marriage as a relic of the patriarchy, and covering themselves in indelible status markers like offensive tattoos and metal face hardware that render them forever unfit for re-entry into a more traditional life later on.

They are also, of course, denying their parents grandchildren. They claim to be upset about humanity going extinct due to climate change, so they decided to make their own family lines go extinct first.

But is it possible that all this anger and rage is a cry for help—directed at the very parents they hate? Did weak, liberal parents and absentee fathers create a generation that grew up to resent them—and everything else?

It sure looks like it! According to a recent Gallup study, as summarized by observer Kurt Mahlburg, “adolescents who have ‘very conservative’ parents are 16-17% more likely to have good or excellent mental health compared to teenagers with liberal parents…. In the face of a secular paradigm that decries any boundary as depriving young people of freedom, the data show that discipline in fact results in youth who are much freer and significantly less encumbered by the high rates of depression and anxiety weighing down their peers.”

Imagine raising kids who don’t hate you, or themselves. Who don’t waste their youth inflicting damage on their bodies, their prospects, or the country.

There are ways, Dude. Read my book to learn how!

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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