Deciphering Uncharted Democracy: A 20-Year-Old Editor's Take on Politics, War, and Rumors Thereof
Written by Sam Orlando, Editor, Breaking Through News
As a 20-year-old editor born into the dawn of the new millennium, I stand as a witness to a world of political tumult that has shaped not only my perspective but that of my peers. Growing up in the shadows of presidents Obama, Trump, and Biden, my generation has been ushered through the corridors of change at a pace that seems to challenge the very heartbeat of democracy.
The presidencies I've known were not just footnotes in history books but live broadcasts of a nation's evolution, its pains, and its possibilities. Each administration came with its own set of promises and problems, but the theater of politics remained, for the most part, within the familiar bounds of partisan debate and policy wrangling. Until now.
Today, the ground beneath our feet feels different. The tremors of the world's upheaval brought on by the war in Israel and Russia's invasion of Ukraine resonate with a frequency unfamiliar to us. Our TV and digital screens, which once brought distant conflicts into our living rooms, now serve as portals to an almost dystopian narrative where war feels closer, more personal. Perhaps it's the digital age's unfiltered immediacy that makes these events strike a deeper chord, or perhaps it's the stark realization that such conflicts can no longer be viewed as remote possibilities.
Amid this global discord, my generation has front-row seats to an unparalleled spectacle— the criminal prosecution of a former U.S. president. Such a scenario was once unfathomable, the stuff of political thrillers, not the six o'clock news. It begs the question: are we setting a precedent that our democracy is unprepared to handle? Are we on the cusp of a new normal that threatens to upend the foundational principles of our nation's political order?
For those of us coming of age in these convoluted times, the challenge is not just in witnessing history but in deciphering it. We grapple with the complexities of holding leaders accountable while maintaining the sanctity of the offices they hold. The balance between justice and political stability is a tightrope walk that democracies have grappled with for centuries, yet it feels intensely magnified under the scrutinizing lens of modern media and a society polarized to its breaking point.
This generation, mine, and the 'pandemic kids' trailing closely behind, must therefore engage with these issues with a mix of sobriety and innovation. We must draw from the well of our nation's historical resilience while being bold enough to redefine what a just, equitable, and stable society should look like. We've inherited a world where change is the only constant and where the inconceivable becomes reality before our very eyes.
As an editor, my role extends beyond reporting events as they unfold. It is to delve into the heart of what these developments mean for us as a society and as guardians of a democratic legacy that seems to be on trial. In capturing the essence of our times, it's not lost on me that history will judge us by the clarity of our insight and the integrity of our discourse.
What then, as a young editor, do I see for the future? I see a need for a more profound understanding that transcends traditional political allegiances. I see the imperative for an engaged, informed, and critically-thinking electorate. And above all, I see the indomitable spirit of a democracy that must evolve, not to the drumbeat of partisan warfare, but to the symphony of informed collective progress.
In these "incredible times" of change, as I thread the narrative of our generation, it's clear that what we are witnessing is not just a series of news cycles to be consumed and forgotten. These are the formative moments that will define not only the era of those currently at the helm but the very fabric of the future we are destined to inherit and redefine.
Don't fret. If we can somehow learn to talk with one another and not at one another, and if we can learn to take a breath before responding in anger or frustration, we might just bend the binds of our current political nightmare. And if we can't, then I guess we don't deserve to inherit this amazing, living, and sometimes dying form of governance. Prayers to anyone listening that we are up to this challenge.
In solidarity and with the pen as my witness, I stand ready to document, to question, and to dream of the world that could be — from the unique vantage point of a generation on the precipice of tomorrow.
Breaking Through News