In America we always had a notion that rights meant everything, truth was of paramount importance, that our way of life was respectable, and that our desire for prosperity through hard work and devotion were something we couldn’t wait to individually attain. This was the way I was raised. This was the way most of my friends and neighbors thought of life and its meaning. That we would all share in a society where we were allowed to choose our destiny. This was the America I grew up in not so long ago.
I came from a big family of six boys. My mother and father grew up in the Great Depression as did my grandparents. Despite incredible hardship my family ascended those obstacles with incredible character and unscathed enthusiasm for life. We had a work ethic but knew that everything in life was not just about work. There was time for play, sports, travel, and barbecue after yard work when the sprinkler cooled the hot summer lawns and we awaited the culinary mastery of our all important father as he grilled a masterpiece. The future of American achievement, landing on the moon, leading the world in innovation seemed assured.
We had chores, the responsibility of a pet that we loved, and sat together at the family dinner table every night and discussed everything from science, to news events, and school. We even got a spanking for doing things we knew we should not have been doing like using the minor obscenities of the 60’s that pale in comparison to normal speech today. We learned respect for others, ourselves, and our country under discipline and a moral attitude. Was it perfect, no. Was it always fun, not always. Did I feel secure? Did I know my limits? Did I learn kindness and how to treat others? Yes.
I’m not speaking of a distant forgotten piece of ancient and arcane America. I’m talking about a middle class up bringing where we were not poor, but we damn sure weren’t rich either. We might have envied the rich in some ways. but we were proud enough, confident enough in our abilities, and self assured enough that we would have our time, our shot at it too. Like every big family there were mixed results some siblings did better than others, but there was no entitlement, no sense that anyone owed us anymore than our freedom to make our own decisions about our lives. That was good enough for us. This state of mind was unspoken yet understood. It didin't need to be voiced like we do today in light of the present turmoil.
The spin of the left. Where did it start. Let’s take Communism, which became a very unpopular concept by the late 1970’s and replace that term with Progressivism. Now that sounds better, doesn’t it? There is a novel approach to remarketing an old unwanted brand, a way to revamp an unpopular concept that had already had its time as an unrealistic fantasy exposed for what it really was. Radical politics began an early assault on the American heritage and international awareness according to its world view in the 1960‘s. The fifties after the Korean War were relatively calm, uneventful, economically stable, if not artistically anal retentive. The early sixties seemed reassuring until the assassination of JFK, and as Dallas Cowboy Quarterback, Don Meredith commented, the world just seemed to fall apart.
I was a kid then, I know. I watched the world as we knew it change. Civil rights, riots in the south, the rise of political commentary rock’n’roll that expressed the views of the young along with an emerging culture of drug abuse. The Vietnam War and massive protests made the 60’s volatile and politically diametrically opposed. The world had definitely exploded in violence some of it for seemingly positive reasons and much of it for clandestined purposes hidden from the people!
All in all it was a different left then we know now though. The left of the 1960’s and 1970’s wanted an end to Vietnam, racial equality, and political parody with the persistence of elements within the government determined to continue policing the world. It seemed that the left of the 1960’s was devoted to transparency in government and an end to the military industrial complex that President Ike Eisenhower warned about in a speech that almost preceded my birth.
Like many Americans, I thought I was a Democrat. I believed in a lot of the values and patriotism expressed by JFK in his speeches. Like my parents and so many others all over the world they all loved him and thought of him as the quintessential American leader of the righteous western world. But, then the world as Don Meredith, had elucidated, changed forever.
At that time in my life, public schools taught the importance of American exceptionalism, that our philosophy about life in general, political reality, quest for freedom, our nation under God, and the concept of free enterprise were all clearly defined. American historic figures like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, there were the role model cornerstones that buttressed our beliefs. My teachers constantly emphasized the important of the future of continuing education, and our responsibility as citizens. Did I fidget? Did I daydream? Were those concepts lost on me? Eventually I got it. All of it made sense, the blue print for success began to materialize.
To make a long story short and to jump ahead several years from adolescence to the world of being a responsible adult on my own I will say that after some college, meeting my first wife, having our children, finally arriving at becoming self employed, and then transforming to being a single parent of 4 little children crystallized the harshness of the real world. Like any trial by fire, we rebound from our adversity, learn from our mistakes, regroup, and move forward again.
In contrast to that observation,I think that we have a generation of young kids whose misguided world views and inability to distinguish between their American upbringing and politics of the rest of the world have been contaminated by radical college professors. These professors, bound in the constraints of their academic vacuum have misled the impressionable minds of kids fresh out of high school over what America really represents. Just like the failure of the Obama administration to adapt to the real world instead of imposing their ideological will upon others, we have college professors that have never dealt with the reality of a non-academic world that demands results and solutions without theoretical caveats.
The cause and effect relationship between an individual who must meet the demands of a world that does not compromise are far different than the negotiable existence of being in an intellectual environment that can always be forgiving to a degree by retaking tests, dropping a course, or adjusting your major. In life, responsibilities like paying bills, making a living, taking care of your children, and complying with all the required state sanctioned requirements far outweighs a number of options. Priorities of survival take precedent over many personal ambitions. Being an effective role model if you are a parent becomes paramount in considerations.
I’ve made my mistakes in life, realized quite acutely my shortcomings while exploiting my talents to the best possible effect. I had a great motivator. Four young children to support, provide for, and influence, all in a Democrat caused recession. Did I do it all on my own? No, I had good fortune in that God helped. In my times of despair and desperation somehow I succeeded and I know it was not all based on my efforts alone, and it was not luck either. I always felt that if I was unworthy, at least I would succeed for the sake of my innocent children who were not responsible for my predicament.
Do many citizens today view their responsibilities the same way? Do they choose the same method of overcoming adversity? Does the government foster a sense of self reliance or the ability to take control of one’s life? I see little evidence of it today. Under the Obama administration and the myth of political correctness adopted under the Clinton era, I see the stubborn sense of independence shared by all Americans not too long ago now mired in the selfish presumption of entitlement. Illegal aliens entering our borders in violation of our laws, signing up for social benefits and government subsidy, welfare, not as a temporary solution but as a life style, and indoctrination with public schools that promotes this mentality are the enemies of society today.
Today children are killed by their own mothers because of the frailty in thier own character, making excuses, Planned Parenthood sanctioning Eugenics convincing entire generations that thousands of abortions are acceptable even if they result in zero population growth of a single nationality. American middle class raised kids can’t even distinguish the difference between a constitutional republic and Communism by the time they're in college. These are the shocking revelations that characterize the failure of our present social reality. The dilemma is caused by federal government social engineering on a national scale under the aegis of progressive education.
Is this all due to an inevitable change in the world that would alter our reality anyway so that we can never attain values of the past again? Of course liberal rationale would say yes. That patriotism, innocence, purity, faith, and the US Constitution have no place in the “Brave New World” however I argue that this is an intended misconception by a government that wants to replace God, hope, and allegiance to ones beloved country with regulation, taxation, and personal control. Is this not easily detected and remedied? Yes, but under the current assault upon American society from so many directions, my countrymen, not all, but many, are oblivious and easily influenced.
I read that in the 1960’s Ike Eisenhower lamented that the generation of that time would have been incapable of achieving the liberation of the world from fascist powers as the greast Americans of that great era that had endured the Depression. I think poor Ike, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin would roll over in their graves in view of the degree that American society has degenerated into.
America, you are my beloved home, but I do not trust the government any longer. For it is no longer of the people, for the people, and by the people. Our government has been compromised and its indelible impression upon American society is evident in our decline. These are not the irrelevant euphemisms of the past, but this is the loss of a once great society whose participants seem largely unconcerned and unaware of its decent into mediocrity.