I think it is in the nature of youth culture to be radicalized — and in my mind, that’s a good thing. My paternal grandfather was a radical socialist who rebelled against his immigrant parents by protesting the very society his parents had risked everything to come to.
Each generation thinks the generation that comes after it is narcissistic and bullheaded and uncompromising to a fault. This is what the WW I generation thought of the Beatniks. This is what the WW II generation thought of the Boomers. It’s what the Boomers thought of Gen-X-ers. And now what Gen-Xers think of Millennials.
Frankly (as a tail-end Boomer myself and mother of Millennials), I am grateful for a politically engaged, socially aware youth culture. Will they flounder? Yes. Will they make gross errors in judgment based on limited experience and understanding? Yes. Will they overlook the humanity of their perceived opponents? Yes (and what politically charged youth culture has not at some point been guilty of all of these? I mean — honestly, can you imagine if we Hippies had access to Twitter and Tumblr?)
But I think the most important question is: Will Millennials move the needle forward? Will they open our eyes to societal ills that we (in our own moral self-certainty) have blindly accepted? Yes and yes. And that is as it should be. That is and has always been youth’s role in our society. And these Millennials are not only fulfilling their role, they are following in the very big and critically important footsteps of every political and cultural youth movement that came before them.