Given that readers have been saturated to the point of fatigue with coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings, I thought I’d provide some relief and write about another critically important topic that is generally ignored by the media.
Last Saturday, I called my sister to wish her a happy birthday, and, as is almost always the case when we speak, we got into a discussion about “the good old days.” Early on in the conversation, my sister asked, in a tone of frustration and disgust, “Whatever happened to America?”
To fully appreciate her question, you have to understand that my sister and her husband are models for everything that once made America great. They worked hard all their lives, clipped coupons, paid their bills, saved up for their golden years and raised three wonderful children who went on to live the same kind of responsible, self-sufficient lives.
But a funny thing happened on the way to their retirement: America disappeared. Well, it didn’t exactly disappear. What actually happened was that it disintegrated. The certitudes that provided the strength for its moral structure simply decomposed over time – sort of like that History Channel show “Life after People.”
My sister made an excellent point when she said that things that were once considered to be unacceptable in America are not only accepted now, but glorified. And that, I believe, is the key word: glorified.
Take “gay pride,” for example. As a libertarian, I firmly believe that how someone chooses to live his life is his own business, so long as he does not trample on the rights of others. However, I never understood what “gay pride” was all about. I finally came to the conclusion that it had nothing to do with pride and everything to do with “in your face.”
That’s what my sister meant by the term glorification. In the 21st century of secular-progressive America, it is not sufficient merely to be accepting of things that were once considered to be off limits. Now they must be praised, exalted and celebrated.
Likewise, I believe that the motivation for legalizing gay marriage is to glorify it. I don’t think it’s any of my business if two homosexuals want to get “married,” but I also don’t believe it’s any of the government’s business. The publicity surrounding the attempt to get the federal government to “legalize” gay marriage is all about glorification.
But gay pride and gay marriage are just two of thousands of politically incorrect examples I could allude to in an effort to embellish my sister’s question, “Whatever happened to America?” Sports, in particular, is saturated with such examples.
Last week, I happened to watch the story of Jim Valvano and the North Carolina State miracle national championship in 1983, and what struck me most was how different the players were just 30 years ago. No pony tails, no dreadlocks, no tattoo-covered arms, no saggy bloomers passing as basketball shorts.
The players were civil, well-spoken and clean cut – intelligent young men who stayed in college all four years and displayed class both on and off the court. Such athletes would seem odd to the typical yahoo sports fan of today.
But that was then and this is now, and the reality is that the secular progressives have won. Just about everything that was once off limits is now glorified. And the key to glorifying moral decadence is getting people to submit to the let’s-pretend game.
We pretend that thug athletes are heroes. We pretend that movie stars are authorities on the most important social and political issues of the day. We pretend that we really believe “rap” is music. We pretend that having pregnant teenage girls running around loose in our high schools is no big deal.
We pretend that the scoundrels roaming the halls of Congress are honorable, upstanding men and women of courage who are serious about upholding the Constitution. We pretend that we have a legitimate president in the White House who is deeply concerned about protecting American citizens. We pretend that we live in a constitutional republic where we are free.
The sad truth is that in today’s America, nothing is real. Money is fake. Politicians are fake. Liberty is fake. We live in the United States of Fake, where we create fake presidents, fake heroes and fake morals.
The media can distract us for long periods of time with the next terrorist attack, the next plane crash, or the next natural disaster, but it can never answer the question “Whatever happened to America?” Why so? Because if they ever dared to honestly address the question, it would open a thousand cans of worms they are ill prepared to deal with.
My sister and I grew up in an America that young people of today would find quaint – or perhaps disgusting. To be sure, there were plenty of injustices in our time. There always have been and always will be. But there was a sense of stability that stemmed from certitudes. There was a generally accepted understanding of the difference between right and wrong. There was a meaning to life well beyond bread and circuses.
As the far left, aided and abetted by the conservative media and RINOs in Congress, takes us ever deeper into the abyss of secular progressivism and collectivism, there will be fewer and fewer people around who will remember what the real America was like. And, as with the Holocaust, those with a vested interest in promoting the United States of Fake will increasingly deny that the original America ever existed.
Sure glad I was there to witness it.