For conservative commentators, upstart socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the gift that keeps on giving. The New York Democrat’s social media feed offers up a constant stream of clueless left-wing commentary that’s ripe for debunking.
The latest instance is a recent Instagram live video, in which she claims that “young people are more informed and dynamic than their predecessors.” The social media starlet goes on to say “this new generation is very profound ... They actually take time to read and understand our history.”
This, frankly, is absurd to the point of hilarity. Nothing could be further from the truth: The millennial generation and Generation Z behind them, of which I am part, is uniquely disengaged from history and woefully uninformed. Which she went on to prove, naturally. In praising the new generation as the first "wiling to go to the streets" and protest, she appears to have forgotten about the 1960s. Oops!
But she disproves her own point in more ways than one. Young people increasingly identify as socialist, which on its own shows that they are woefully ignorant of history. That ideology of failure and oppression has a very dark past of which few are aware. And only 16% of millennialsare even able to define socialism in the first place.
As far as broader historical literacy goes, two of three millennials, the same generation that Ocasio-Cortez deems “informed and dynamic,” do not even know what Auschwitz is. Ignorance of the Nazi death camp is bad enough, but 1 in 5 millennials aren’t even aware of the Holocaust at all.
This isn’t exactly a surprise, when you look at young peoples’ habits. According to Business Insider, “Millennials spend far less time consuming news overall than older adults, and the time they do spend is concentrated on digital consumption. Millennials ages 21-37 consume only about 30% of the amount of news as adults age 38 and older.”
Plus, many young people don’t read books. At all.
Per Forbes, “38% of students at public and private four-year colleges reported that ‘Books have never gotten me very excited.’ And 45% said ‘I don’t enjoy reading serious books and articles, and I only do it when I have to.’”
These statistics come as little surprise. Take it from someone on the border of both Generation Z and the millennial generation: Today’s young people are not the “most-informed” generation, or anywhere close. If they were, Ocasio-Cortez wouldn’t have a mass social media following in the first place.