Thursday, March 08, 2018

We need some of the things from “the good old days” back again

Some of us seasoned citizens look out across the social landscape and are aghast at what we see. Our relatively stable culture of a few decades ago has certainly changed. And not for the better.

Many people in the U.S. have come to a point where for them reality has degenerated into a matter of “whatever I think it is.” And an associated mentality is that whatever someone or some group of people thinks is important must be treated not only with respect but even acceptance, no matter how silly or irrelevant it seems to others. Kid gloves are the new fashion trend, lest someone’s tender feelings be affected.

Of course, only certain types of things qualify for this special treatment, and other things are automatically disqualified, and by golly, you had best know the difference.

If you are not hip to Political Correctness (PC), you are likely to run afoul of the PC Police, and be labeled any of the fashionable “ists,” like racist, chauvinist, sexist, or one of the “phobes,” like xenophobe, transphobe or homophobe, but not Anglophobe.

For example, it was once considered inarguable that men and women are different. Then came the women’s movement, and after many years of that, a famous magazine of the day published an edition with its groundbreaking discovery that “Men and Women are Different!” emblazoned on the cover.

Our society is plagued with problems that many of us could never have predicted, and have trouble accepting, or even believing. Among these are the younger generation’s penchant for ingesting Tide pods, the idea that the Christmas song “Jingle Bells” or bulletproof glass in certain crime-ridden business areas are somehow racist, or that any word containing the syllable “man” that has been part of the vocabulary for centuries now needs to be changed because it is sexist.

On the subject of sex/gender, in our time it was uncommon or non-existent for someong born with the physical plumbing of a male who thought they should be a female, or vice versa. In those days sex and gender were the same; if you were born a female, you exhibited female characteristics of behavior, and vice versa. While it was true that some females might demonstrate less feminine/more masculine traits than most, and some males might demonstrate less masculine/more feminine traits than most, the differences between one’s biological sex and preferred gender did include people actually trying to switch genders, as is being done today.

These days many people react emotionally, believing those reactions are the solution to many problems. Finding causes through logical analysis has become a foreign concept. The horrific tragedy of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida is a recent case in point.

Many people automatically returned to banning weapons like the one used by the mentally ill shooter used as the solution. Yes, some of those do so out of ideological impulse, but others are unable to see past the knee-jerk reaction of blaming the gun rather than the perp. And it is increasingly the case where mere disagreement with these emotional responses produces insults rather than productive discussion.

Also these same people want to blame an organization for the tragedy, for the same reasons. The National Rifle Association (NRA) and its five or so million law abiding members through some illogical magic have become the reason this young cretin killed 17 students and teachers at his former school.

Some questions for these folks:
Did the NRA fail to follow up on multiple warnings about the shooter’s mental state and criminal activities?
Did it prevent the school from installing security measures that could have kept him out of the buildings?
Did it tell the deputies who were on site not to go in and confront the shooter?
Did it persuade local authorities to stop arresting young wrongdoers and instead send them to counseling so the area’s profile would look better?
Did it whisper in the ear of this mentally ill fool that he should go to the school and kill people?
Was the shooter one of its members?

The answer to each of these questions is, of course, a loud and definite “no!” Further, as time passes, we learn more about what actually happened, and what didn’t happen that should have happened, which should reiterate the wisdom against reacting too strongly, too quickly.

These things demonstrate that America isn’t America anymore. And they outline the problems facing the country. How do we start from this crazy situation and restore the nation to the America that was the most free and stable yet imagined by humans?

Americans have done a lousy job teaching the younger generations the history of America and the traditions that evolved as a result of its creation. Too many of us do not know those traditions, and more than a few do not appreciate them. Consequently they do not honor them. The current culture is one that has few strong, unwavering principles, and those that remain are under attack.

How long can America survive floating aimlessly along, having abandoned the very traditions and values that made it the great nation it once was?

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