The young people of America have something to say.
Last Saturday, for example, they joined adults at marches in cities across the nation in response to last month's high school shooting rampage in Parkland, Florida, that claimed more than a dozen young lives.
Some of the Parkland student survivors were featured speakers at a well-produced, celebrity-studded rally in Washington, D.C., where they captivated audiences with their composure and gravitas.
But the nationally-televised speaking event wasn't the first rodeo for several students. They had already made the rounds on the cable news networks and been hailed by multiple national publications for taking on the adults they believe have failed them.
Reasonable people disagree about the overarching message of the rally. Some are troubled by the instant celebrity of certain student survivors and the dearth of factual evidence provided in support of some of the protestors' more egregious assertions. And there is valid reason to wonder how much of the messaging from Saturday's event was directed by adults eager to exploit these attractive albeit vulnerable young spokespeople for a cause of their own.
Still, it is clear that these students are motivated, capable and engaged. They have experienced something difficult and profound. Their messages aside, several students spoke with the poise and authority not often associated with the young.
They are the voice of a generation, declared headline after headline. The young are leading and we must follow, opined others.
Indeed, these young people have something to say, and it's worth hearing.
But their activism, their commitment to a cause that is controversial, their challenge to something deeply ingrained in our national identity, isn't as novel as some of their adult adulators would have us believe.
In January of this year and every January for the last four decades, young people have attended the March for Life — the largest pro-life protest in the world — in droves. Events held in Washington, D.C. and all over the country are marked not only by the attendance of families — parents young and old with their children, but the abundance of teenagers and twenty-somethings in the crowd.
Maggie Jensen, who attends The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., said her campus alone hosted nearly 1,000 high school marchers the night before the rally this year.
These young people also speak for their generation — a "pro-life generation" — and like Saturday's student marchers, they too see themselves as protecting future generations from societal ills and government policies that have led to the death of too many innocent children.
Being pro-life isn't just about abortion, said Jensen, 19, of Fort Worth, who attended this year's March for Life in Washington, D.C.
"You have to be pro-life from birth to death and everything in between," she told me, which means that her generation will need to apply those beliefs and channel that activism into all kinds of issues, from education reform to economic inequality to war, and yes, even gun control.
In fact, when it comes to protecting human dignity, challenging the prevailing "adult" narrative about certain Constitutional protections and looking out for the rights of innocent children, Maggie and her fellow March for Lifers could probably write the playbook and graciously hand it over to the youth leaders of the March for Our Lives.
But unlike their contemporaries who recently graced the cover of TIME Magazine, members of the "pro-life generation" do not possess support from the media, celebrity donors and cultural elites who share their cause.
They aren't taken seriously. They are mischaracterized and misunderstood.
Student pro-life leaders aren't offered slots on the Sunday morning news shows or bank-rolled by Hollywood. They travel to Washington on buses, not private planes borrowed from NFL owners.
And their voices are often ignored by leaders who think their youth and inexperience belie their cause.
In this cultural moment, we are being told it's time to let the young lead.
If that's so, all of their voices should be considered, not just those whose interests match our own.