American scene of today.
I am NOT posting this to start a political debate. I just found it as food for thought.
Subject: Future plans- What a shame: unknown writer
My thought is we are getting closer and closer to Communism and we
have lost almost all of our values.
I said to my then-teenage son, "David, please forgive me. I am
handing over to you a worse America than my father handed over to
me." Unfortunately, I still feel this way. With the important
exception of racial discrimination - which was already dying a
natural death when I was young - it is difficult to come up with an
important area in which America is significantly better than when I
was a boy. But I can think of many in which its quality of life has
When I was a boy, America was a freer society than it is today. If
Americans had been told the extent and number of laws that would
govern their speech and behavior within one generation, they would
have been certain that they were being told about some dictatorship,
not the Land of the Free. Today, people at work, to cite but one
example, are far less free to speak naturally. Every word, gesture
and look, even one's illustrated calendar, is now monitored lest a
fellow employee feel offended and bring charges of sexual harassment
or creating a "hostile work environment" or being racially,
religiously or ethnically insensitive, or insensitive to another's
sexual orientation. Meanwhile, all employers in California are now
prohibited by law from
firing a man who has decided to cross-dress at work. And needless to
say, no fellow worker can say to that man, "Hey, Jack, why not wear
the dress at home and men's clothes to work?" An employer
interviewing a prospective employee is not free to ask the most
natural human questions: Are you married? Do you have a child? How
old are you? Soon "How are you?" will be banned lest one discriminate
on the basis of health.
When I was a boy, what people did at home was not their employer's
business. Today, companies and city governments refuse to hire, and
may fire, workers no matter how competent or healthy, who smoke in
their homes. Sarasota , Fla. , the latest city to invade people' s
private lives, would not hire Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt
or John F. Kennedy if they applied for a job.
When I was a 7- year-old boy, I flew alone from New York to my aunt
and uncle in Miami and did the same thing coming back to New York. I
boarded the plane on my own and got off the plane on my own. No
papers for my parents to fill out. No extra fee to pay the airline. I
was responsible for myself. Had I run away or been kidnapped, no one
would have sued the airline. Today, fear of lawsuits is a dominant
fact of American life.
When I was a boy, I ran after girls during recess, played dodge ball,
climbed monkey bars and sat on seesaws. Today, more and more schools
have no recess; have canceled dodge ball lest someone feel bad about
being removed from the game; and call the police in to interrogate,
even sometimes arrest, elementary school boys who playfully touch a
girl. And monkey bars and seesaws are largely gone, for fear of
lawsuits should a child be injured.
When I was boy, I was surrounded by adult men. Today, most American
boys (and girls, of course) come into contact with no adult man all
day every school day. Their teachers and school principals are all
likely to be women. And if, as is often the case, there is no father
at home (not solely because of divorce but because "family" courts
have allowed many divorced mothers to remove fathers from their
children's lives), boys almost never come into contact with the most
important group of people in a boy's life - adult men. The
contemporary absence of men in boys' lives is not only unprecedented
in American history; it is probably unprecedented in recorded
When I was a boy, we had in our lives adults who took pride in being
adults. To distinguish them from our peers, we called these adults
"Mr.," "Mrs." and "MIss," or by their titles, "Doctor," "Pastor,"
"Rabbi," "Father." It was good for us, and we liked it. Having adults
proud of their adulthood, and not acting like they were still kids,
gave us security (as well as something to look forward to in growing
up). Today, kids are surrounded by peers twice, three, four times
When I was a boy, the purpose of American history textbooks was to
teach American history. Today, the purpose of most American history
texts is to make minorities and females feel good about themselves.
As a result, American kids today are deprived of the opportunity to
feel good about being American (not to mention deprived of historical
truth). They are encouraged to feel pride about all identities -
African-American, Hispanic, Asian, female, gay - other than American.
When I was a teenage boy, getting to kiss a girl, was the thrill of a
lifetime. But of course, we were not raised by educators or parents
who believed that "teenagers will have sex no matter what." Most of
us rarely if ever saw a naked female in photos (the "dirty pictures"
we got a chance to look at never showed "everything"), let alone in
movies or in real life. We were, in short,
allowed to be relatively innocent. And even without sex education and
condom placement classes, few of us ever got a girl pregnant.
When I was a boy, "I Love Lucy" showed two separate beds in Lucy and
Ricky's bedroom - and they were a married couple. Today, MTV and most
TV saturate viewers' lives with sexual imagery and sexual talk,
virtually all of which is loveless and, of course, non-marital.
When I was a boy, people dressed up to go to baseball games, visit
the doctor and travel on airplanes. Today, people don't dress up even
When I was a boy, Time and Newsweek were well written and relied
little on pictures and illustrations. Today, those magazines often
look like adult comic books by comparison. They are filled with large
illustrations and photos, and they dumb down the news with features
like "Winners and Losers" and "Who's Up and Who's Down."
And when I was a boy,it would have been inconceivable for Time to
substitute anything, let alone a tree, for the flag planted by the
marines on Iwo Jima.
One might argue that these are the same laments that every previous
older generation has expressed - "Ah, when I was young ." But in
America, that has not been the case. In America , the older
generations tended to say the opposite - "When I was a kid, things
were worse. "Can we return to the America of my youth? No. Can we
return to the best values of that time? Very, Very Doubtful.
Especially if both houses of Congress, the presidency and the Supreme
Court move the country even further leftward. If that happens, many
of the above noted changes will simply be accelerated: More laws
restricting "offensive" speech will be enacted; litigation will
increase and trial lawyers will gain more power; the American
military will be less valued; trees will gradually replace the flag
as our most venerated symbol; schools will teach even less as they
concentrate even more on diversity, sexuality and the environment;
teenage sex will be increasingly accepted; American identity will
continue to be replaced by ethnic, racial, gender or "world citizen"
identity; and the power of the state will expand further as the power
of the individual inevitably contracts. It's hard to believe most
Americans really want that. But then again, look at Russia before
1917, Germany and Japan before WWII. And on and on, different
circumstances same outcome, deception and allegiance of the masses.
Ride Slow, Ride Fast, Always Ride Safe
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