How America Claims to Love Youth and Its Actions Don’t Align

If We’re Choosing Sides, then I Choose theirs

Katrina Paulson
7 min readNov 13, 2021


Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

My mom always says, “choose your battles wisely,” and right now, in the United States, there are a plethora of battles to choose from. It’s nearly impossible not to notice the clash of liberal and conservative values dominating national conflicts. Or how it splinters into disputes around racism, sexism, classism, education, and generational wars amidst a global pandemic and increased global warming.

The bottom line is, change is happening whether we want it or not. Our shared reality is forcing us to choose sides. Even refusing to pick, is a side of its own. For personal reasons, I’ve chosen several sides — because who says you can only pick one? — but if I absolutely had to put all my eggs in one basket, then I choose the youth.

Brief Background

First, you should know, I’m not a parent — I don’t even have nieces or nephews. This fact may make some people assume I have no right to speak on this topic and, maybe I won’t win fans by writing this article. But these words have scratched at my insides for weeks now, and I have to get them out. Besides, I’d argue that my childless nature might provide a different perspective of things.

As a female of child-bearing age, I’ve spent years deciding whether I want children. I gotta say, selfish reasons aside, when looking at America, I’m less than inclined to bring more children into this world. Even if I did want them.

I’ve watched closely and the way children have been treated over the last couple of decades — especially the last five years, and especially since the pandemic — is appalling. We should be ashamed of ourselves, regardless of parenthood status. Instead, our actions are becoming scarily normalized.

How America Thinks it Values Kids

Look, I know there are plenty of supportive, loving, patient, and brilliant parents out there. I know a bunch of them and was raised by two of the best. I actually believe the majority of parents sincerely want their children to thrive and be happy. I’m not trying to attack parenting styles or anything like that. I’m talking about the contradictions in the…



Katrina Paulson

I wonder about humanity, questions with no answers, and new discoveries. Then I write about them here and on substack!