Growing up overseas in a very protective environment didn’t do a very good job of preparing me (in many ways) for the sobering reality of ….reality! As someone who has always been immensely curious about the world around her and the people in it, I am still uncovering little things about this country’s history that when put into their historical context turn out to be the piece of the puzzle that allow the rest of that portion of the picture to be seen, or at least make more sense to me than before.
A couple of days ago a friend of mine sent me a video that I posted yesterday on my facebook wall of a comedian named ‘Red Skelton’, who I was told had been popular way back when. In that video he is seen all by himself on a stage saying the Pledge of Allegiance and stopping after each word and telling his audience what that word or phrase means. As I watched it the first time and then the 2nd I was really impressed with how authentic his words and conviction seemed to be. Being the curious person I am I went to my god friends Mr. Google and Mr YouTube and ferreted out more of this mans material and then more material from that era of TV. I watched clips with people like “Lucy” and “Sid Ceasar” and “Dick VanDyke” and all sorts of other stars from televisions infancy (read …the days of Black and White TV). These television shows mirrored the social and cultural norms of that period, just as our shows today mirror our own.
Growing up somewhere other than here had left me without any reference points with which to measure things. Not that any of those shows were on when I would have been growing up…or even possibly when my parents were growing up …but the values represented and reflected back to the people of this country in those shows were the same values that would have been responsible for helping to shape my parents and grandparents. The lesson for me was to remind me: “If you want to get a sense of how far you have gone… you need to go back and look at where you started”. But it doesn’t just end there ….at least not for me…At the risk of sounding like someone who just got here from another planet … and who’s entire working knowledge of things here she got from watching old rereuns of the Lucy Show. I am not that naive or ignorant of this country’s history. Watching parts of all of those shows was insightful because it gave me a first hand front row … micro sociological perspective, of the values that molded and shaped the people of that era. I don’t think everyone’s lives were exactly like the “Ward and June Cleaver” family or the “Father Knows Best” family … but those were two of the most popular shows on television at that time. I didn’t form my thinking based on all of the clips I watched …they just filled in alot of the blanks. As we watch our society desperately try to fight off the forces of evil …I am certain I am not the only one who wonders how we have gotten to this place and why?
Those videos illustrated some of the attitudes, character and integrity of the people who make up what is accurately referred to now as the “greatest generation”. They were by and large very honest, and truthful. They seemed to understand that they were responsible for themselves and their families and no one else and if you wanted something then you needed to work for it..no one owed you anything you didn’t earn and what this country offered was freedom and opportunity. They would be the first to help out their neighbor and the last to accept food stamps or TANF or any of the other government enabler entitlements, they saved their money, they didn’t abuse (or really have access to a lot of) credit. Families would all sit down for dinner together, and from what I can tell from watching all of those old TV show reruns like Lucy and Mary Tyler, and others …at night the husband and the wife would each go to sleep in their separate single beds (sort of like a Russian hotel room) so there were some downsides but at least they both slept in the same room. Lastly they loved this country, lived their lives based on absolutes like right and wrong, and were a strong Christian nation.
Contrast that with what we have today and it gets very depressing very quickly. What we see today is exactly what people should have expected when values like right and wrong are marginalized, when no one is outraged when a politician or anyone else looks them in the eye and lies to them without even hesitating at all. No fault divorce, the assault on organized religion, and the traditional family. People today line up for government handouts and then line up to cast their votes to ensure those handouts don’t get stopped. The entitlement class in this country has grown so accustomed to getting something for nothing you can’t get most of them to do anything. As measure 66 and 67 showed us these same ‘live for today” and “gimme gimme gimme” people have begun to cannibalize the wealth of the productive class of people and were not satisfied with an irresponsible government that has spent its way through all of the available revenue generated today … they are intent on stealing from the next generation and if that’s not enough then they will steal from the next generations for as long as they can before they get off their asses and do something for themselves or require the people who have become the ‘boat anchors’ on this country to gt off of theirs.
What scares me the most for the future of this country is this? As the greatest generation enjoys their retirement (and their retirement savings) grows old, and dies. With them we will lose the only effective counter balance to liberal, progressive lunacy, socialism and communism we currently have….I wish I was a bit older for just long enough to be able to put this clash of the two generations into better perspective so I could evaluate this threat more accurately.