cliches of civic engagement

I’m on my way to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, where I’ll be speaking about–what else?–youth civic engagement. I’m happy to support the launch of TCU’s Center for Civic Literacy.

I hope that my speech does not sound like this article by Douglas Brinkley from 1994, entitled “Educating the Generation Called ‘X.'” The links are to Cosma Shazili’s commentary:

But all in all, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, a “young person is a young person is a young person.” They are essentially no different from their predecessors; they simply want to be regarded as individuals. By 1988, those born between 1961 and 1981 will comprise the largest voting bloc ever in American history, numbering 80 million strong. They will soon step up to the plate to try to clean up the mess. Their teacher should strive to do what education has traditionally done for the young: Bring out their best, encourage hope and nourish their imaginations.