On October 10th of last year, Thomas Friedman wrote about The Millennial Generation, showing everyone that his “expertise” on foreign affairs and energy policy doesn’t extend to generational discussion.

But Generation Q may be too quiet, too online, for its own good, and for the country’s own good. When I think of the huge budget deficit, Social Security deficit and ecological deficit that our generation is leaving this generation, if they are not spitting mad, well, then they’re just not paying attention. And we’ll just keep piling it on them.

America needs a jolt of the idealism, activism and outrage (it must be in there) of Generation Q. That’s what twentysomethings are for — to light a fire under the country. But they can’t e-mail it in, and an online petition or a mouse click for carbon neutrality won’t cut it. They have to get organized in a way that will force politicians to pay attention rather than just patronize them.

Friedman waded into generational waters again this morning, and while the content was slightly better (the overall gist of the column made good points), he showed again that he does not understand the Millennial brand of activism.

The carnage was mostly restricted to the intro:

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Tom Brokaw’s book “The Greatest Generation,” that classic about our parents and their incredible sacrifices during World War II. What I’ve been thinking about actually is this: What book will our kids write about us? “The Greediest Generation?” “The Complacent Generation?” Or maybe: “The Subprime Generation: How My Parents Bailed Themselves Out for Their Excesses by Charging It All on My Visa Card.”

Our kids should be so much more radical than they are today. I understand why they aren’t. They’re so worried about just getting a job or paying next semester’s tuition. But we must not take their quietism as license to do whatever we want with this bailout cash. They are going to have to pay this money back. And therefore, we have an incredibly weighty obligation to make sure that we not only spend every stimulus dollar wisely but also with an eye to creating new technologies.

Friedman is still on his radical shtick, once again arguing that times are so dire that we need to sit in the streets and chain ourselves to bulldozers. Friedman believes that the only way to act with urgency is to go crazy, like much of the Boomer activists did, marching in streets, braving teargas, screaming chants, and disrupting society. But we know that we can show appreciation for how urgent this moment is in our own way. Today’s youth were involved in this election at a rate not seen since 1972. CIRCLE finds that about 23 million young Americans cast a ballot this year, over 3 million more than the number in 2004. How many times do we need to cite data that shows that Millennials volunteer at record rates? Friedman once again equates activism with being “radical,” and he’s wrong.

Friedman writes about Millennials as if we’re still seven years old, too distracted with getting the latest toy that comes with our Happy Meal to understand what’s going on. Friedman acts like we’re impotent, like we didn’t just make history ourselves, uniting behind a candidate, sweeping him through the Democratic primary and into the White House. Yes, Tom, that happened. And we did it.

Boomers do owe us. They got us into this mess. Millennials aren’t being “quiet” because we’re not aware of what’s going on. We’re doing our thing, working through the establishment, changing the system from the inside out. And we’re also watching to make sure the Baby Boomers stay focused on their “weighty obligation.” We’ve already turned the political world upside down. We’re not afraid to do it again.

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