“Well, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, young people can stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26,” said the first lady of the United States. “But once they hit 26 — they’re on their own. And a lot young people think they’re invincible. But the truth is, young people are knuckleheads. They’re the ones who are cooking for the first time and slice their finger open, they’re dancing on the bar stool.”
– Michelle Obama (via The Weekly Standard)
I was going to make this a funny critique, but about 10 seconds after I decided that I changed my mind, because I realized I was actually incredibly angry about this comment.
This is what the first lady thinks of young adults.
I’m sorry, but in what universe do the majority of 26 year olds (even those that the current economy have forced to live with their parents) not know how to handle a knife or other cooking utensils? In what world do the majority of 26 year olds get so wasted that they dance on bar stools?
Sometimes I have a low opinion of the intelligence and capabilities of my generation, but not even I am so disrespectful as to think that 26 year olds don’t even have the most basic of coping and survival skills. Maybe there are some that are complete “knuckleheads” as Michelle Obama put it, but by 26 the majority have graduated college and begun their careers.
A 26 year old could be responsible for teaching your child at school.
A 26 year old could be starting their residency after medical school.
A 26 year old could be doing any number of complex and highly technical jobs.
A 26 year old may have been fighting for our country for the past 8 years.
At 26 years old you are mostly likely several years out of college, fairly likely to be married or on your way to being married, and may possibly already have children…possibly children old enough to be in the elementary school class of some other 26 year old in fact.
Being in your 2os doesn’t make you an incompetent, but that’s what Michelle Obama seems to think of young people. Maybe she’s projecting, after all I don’t know how much bar stool dancing she did at age 26, or maybe it’s wishful thinking. After all her husband’s administration and ideology thrives on the infantilization of adults.
Republicans, listen up.
This is a good place to start your messaging and outreach to young Americans. Let them see what the leaders of the Democratic party think of them and remind them that they are not incompetent and they are adults. They need to wake up and be part of the solution, rather than supporting people who think they are “knuckleheads” who need the government to take care of them because they don’t have a speck of common sense or two brain cells to rub together.
We believe they are capable.
We believe they adults.
We believe they can succeed without the government peering over their shoulder to keep them safe.