To read Charles Blow's latest, about a recent study of today's high school graduates, is to be depressed. And angry.
... The report imagines a hypothetical class of 100 graduates. Of those, it estimates that:
■ 71 have experienced physical assault, 28 have been victimized sexually (10 report that they have been the victims of dating violence in the past year, and 10 report they have been raped), 32 have experienced some form of child maltreatment, 27 were in a physical fight, and 16 carried a weapon in the past year.
■ 64 have had sexual intercourse, 48 are sexually active, 27 used a condom and 12 were on birth control pills the last time they had sex; 21 percent had a sexually transmitted infection in the past year; three or four of the young women have been or are pregnant, and one has had an abortion.
■ 39 have been bullied, physically or emotionally — 16 in the past year; 29 felt “sad and hopeless” continually for at least two weeks during the past year; 14 thought seriously about attempting suicide, and six went through with the attempt.
■ 34 are overweight, and 22 are living in poverty (10 in deep poverty)...
... Our problems would be fixable if only we could agree that the protection and healthy development of this country’s children is not only a humanitarian and moral imperative, but also an economic and cultural one: today’s students are tomorrow’s workers.
However, many conservatives seem too selfish to take the altruistic view and too blind to take the self-interested one...
In no way is that last an overstatement (my bolding). For various reasons -- ideological, selfish, end-times thinking, ignorance, vindictiveness, or simply not caring -- there's no legislative interest among the teabagging wing of the Republican party to address the problem. They simply refuse to face it. It's too hard, and too expensive. Hard. Spending. Thinking about anyone but themselves. Not into it. So we're screwed. And by "we" I mean our future.