Scroll to the end for a shorter version. I'm a 20-something college student. The age +/- a couple years where most begin to experience the "real" world. The following will be a summary of how things seem from my perspective. What I'm wondering is if things seemed similar to others at the beginning of their adulthood. Does my view have much in common with those of other generations, or even a large portion of my generation? America doesn't feel like what I've learned it should be throughout my schooling. To begin with something a little controversial, I'll let it be known I practice a variety of Christianity. Yet, I've heard for a majority of my life about the separation of church and state. Yet, what worries me is how God is an acceptable justification for many political decisions, and is even a large part of some candidates platform. I am shocked how many candidates can lie or be misinformed yet still be considered serious candidates. This happens on both sides of the aisle, but the most recent example that comes to mind is Christine O'donnel being oblivious to the contents of the constitution. My question here I guess is at any other point in American History could candidates with such little political knowledge be viable. My next area of concern has to do with civil rights. Obviously America has had its civil rights issues in the past, but it seems as if we never learn. It doesn't seem as if an argument against gay marriage should be that it is against God's will. I think most Christian people in America would agree that adultery is against God's will, and most of other or no faith would also be morally opposed to adultery. This isn't an argument used to outlaw adultery, so why is it an acceptable argument against gay marriage? My next issue is the widespread intolerance towards Islam. I'm going to use the "Ground Zero Mosque" as an example. The Constitution gives us the right of freedom of religion. Islam is clearly a mainstream religion so this should be a no brained, yet this would not be an issue were it a temple, church, etc. Obviously candidates should be able to run on the platform of preventing this if they so choose, but why do politicians have he power the prevent this in the first place? We seem to be a nation full of bigotry and haven't learned from our past. Does anyone feel like we have made any strides in tolerance? These issue I believe are in large part due to how uneducated I believe we are as Americans. The religious hatred that exists is unbelievable, but coupled with the recent polls on how little Americans know about their own--let alone other's religions--seems particularly upsetting. Historically I would maybe compare this to America's fear of JFK being Catholic, but it feels as if we haven't taken any strides since then. As far as traditional education goes it seems as if the majority are very uninformed which allows for candidates to run on some absurdist platforms. It seems most will vote along party lines and decide on an issue based on media coverage, not personal research or even thought. Environmentally I'm am concerned for my future as well. There is enough evidence in support that I'm worried about global warming on a better safe than sorry level. If there was a 25% chance using a product would flood our yard or basement we would consider it unacceptable, yet global warming has the support of a majority of scientists, yet very little dramatic action is being taken against global warming. I won't delve into incredibly subjective arguments such as abortion and drug policy. I feel overall my outlook on the future is that America not so idealistic as I believed, our education is horrendous, we don't learn from our mistakes, ignore science and logic, and base many decisions on hate and fear. Is this new? Have other generations felt worried about the future of our nation? Do we ever learn from our mistakes? Do things seem as if there are a frightening amount of people that out of hatred/fear will give up more of our liberties? Summary: worried about racism, education, religious fear, environment, and civil rights. Is my bleak outlook on America's future unique to my generation, not unique, or does it have little to do with age.