In recent years many of our cultural values have been eroding, and in some cases are being consciously abandoned.
Standing and holding your hand over your heart during the performance of the National Anthem is a part of many activities. It is a simple but sincere way of honoring our nation and paying tribute to the opportunities it provides and its protection of personal freedom that is unparalleled in the world. Rather than honor the country that has been so good to them, some now balk at this simple act, and instead remain sitting, or “take a knee” in protest.
In fact, protest is becoming the new national pastime. Most anything that upsets somebody may well become a protest movement. A large segment of the population seemingly feels led to either start a protest, or take part in them. And some things that now upset folks are things that once were hardly noticed.
For example, some women are offended when a male in a standing position talks to a female who is sitting down. “Mansplaining,” it is called, and is considered offensive because the man is deemed to consider himself superior to the woman.
And then when a male sits and spreads his legs wide apart, that, too, is offensive to some females. They term this “manspreading,” because the male is thought to hold himself in such high regard that he can take up more space than he is due.
We also see the long-established idea of working for a living and supporting yourself and your family being abandoned in favor of welfare, food stamps and Medicaid replacing earned income. Government encourages this by making it too easy to get by without working. The ethic of getting a basic education and either going to work or continuing your education to prepare for a career no longer seems important to many people.
Sometimes economic conditions and a shortage of available jobs force people onto government support. Government imposes policies that instead of encouraging job creation often stifle it through overly strict, crippling regulations and daunting taxation, and then government spends tax revenue to support the people its policies have put on the unemployment line.
Two-parent families have given way to single-parent families, and the harm to children in that situation is often substantial. These families most often lack a father figure, whose presence can and should be a positive influence on children. And, it is becoming common for single mothers to have more children, not because they want more children so much as because they get more money from the government by doing so.
Educating children about our country’s history and values no longer takes place in many homes, and that responsibility gets transferred to schools. But then many schools no longer adequately fill that role, either. Consequently, lots of our younger citizens have no idea why America is a great place to have been born and to live, and without that understanding, proper attitudes of citizenship do not form.
Is it any wonder, then, that so many college kids cannot cope with normal events in life, and react with fear when they encounter unfamiliar or different ideas? With safe spaces and trigger warnings, even if schools still present subject matter without an ideological bias, many campuses shield students from lessons that teach about life and being an adult in the 21st century. College life should expose young people to new and different ideas and teach them to seek truth, but too often, it does not.
Further complicating the educational experience is the widely promoted idea that everyone needs a college education, and there are ample scholarships, grants and loans available to help pay for it. Colleges are embroiled in an arms race to attract students and the money they bring with them through lavish dormitories and other facilities.
Of course, not everyone needs a college education, and not everyone can complete the requirements for a diploma. And many students pursue degrees in fields that do not allow them to support themselves. Meanwhile, thousands of good paying jobs go unfilled that less expensive vocational training would have prepared people to perform.
As the college experience continues to devolve on many campuses, a group of professors from Princeton, Harvard and Yale have introduced a program that runs counter to the developing new college environment. They encourage students to avoid crippling campus groupthink and to instead think for themselves.
Sixteen professors from the three schools signed a letter warning the Class of 2021 at their school about the danger of “falling into the vice of conformism” on campus.
Princeton Professor Robert P. George told Fox News host Tucker Carlson, “We’re telling our students not to fall into that groupthink,” he said. “You should be pursuing the truth. That’s what being in college is all about. It’s learning to pursue the truth and it’s learning to become a life-long truth seeker.”
To the extent this productive attitude spreads and influences more young people, the positive college environment of old will be restored, and will produce more well-grounded young people who are prepared for adulthood. That will help a lot.