Ever since winning our independence, a tacit understanding passed from generation to generation. Parents of each embraced, in the form of a bailment, the treasured democracy our Founding Fathers bequeathed. As such, that bailment was to be preserved and handed down from one generation to the next.
A bailment is a legal term meaning temporary placement of control over, or possession of, personal property, entrusted to a bailee. In this case, the bailment property is our republic – with each generation holding it in trust as bailee for subsequent generations.
Certain responsibilities attach to the bailee, such as preserving the property and ensuring its safe transfer to the next bailee generation in as good condition, or better, as received.
Thus, each generation of parents since our founding has sought to leave, as an improved America for their children, the bailment they inherited from their own parents. Like a track relay team passing a baton from member to member, a traditionally improved bailment has passed from generation to generation.
Sadly, the author’s baby boomer generation (those born between 1946-1964) has dropped the baton. The largest generational group in U.S. history, until slightly surpassed by millennials (those born between 1982-2004), baby boomers are passing down a damaged bailment.
A list of reasons Dennis Prager provided why he pities today’s younger generation is apropos to why the bailment has diminished value:
- “The unconscionable debt we are leaving them.
- The obliteration of male and female as separate and distinct categories – and the sexual confusion that is left in its wake.
- The emasculation of men and the de-feminization of women.
- The undermining of the value of marriage.
- The lack of God and religion in their lives – and the consequent search for meaning in the wrong places.
- The receiving of indoctrination, rather than education, in most schools from elementary through graduate.
- The inability to celebrate being American.”
All of the above are a direct result of moving away from values that made our country great and toward a progressive line of thinking, promoted not only by educators but by the media as well. At his list’s end, Prager observed, “Each one of these was brought on by the very group many young people identify with: the left.”
Because our baby boomer generation failed to imprint upon today’s young people the same traditional values we held near and dear, expecting schools and the media to perform that role, we shirked our bailee responsibilities. We simply stood by, allowing the bailment to depreciate as values we embraced were not taught. With the recent scandal of bribes paid by rich parents seeking admissions to elite colleges for their children, even the admired value of merit has fallen by the wayside.
And now, we stand on the precipice of turning the bailment over to a totally unqualified bailee generation of “snowflakes” lacking the necessary education, patriotism and appreciation to prevent further bailment devaluation.
During our baby boomer lifetime, we will have witnessed the bailment’s transition from the hands of what was our greatest generation to the hands of an overly sensitized, unappreciative, unpatriotic, historically ignorant, materialistic generation fed a continuous diet of political correctness at any price and taught to denigrate America at any opportunity.
An obvious poster child for this generation is AOC – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. – who recently stated America is “garbage.” Evidencing we suffer a widespread progressive disease is the fact she was not booed off stage for her comment.
The America in which we live today is nothing like the America baby boomers inherited. We are in a societal tailspin of our own making, having failed to keep America on a steady course of traditional values.
The melting pot that made America great for over two centuries, nurturing a “united we stand, divided we fall” mentality, has given way to activists playing identity politics. Instead of reaching into that melting pot to pull out another’s cultural tradition one may admire, emulating it only triggers the ire of identity political activists claiming appropriation.
The patriotism of post-World War II America is a shadow of its former self. Various institutions contribute to its demise:
- The National Education Association by rewarding national anthem-kneeler Colin Kaepernick, who chose to denigrate America’s symbol of greatness to promote “his” issue by disrespecting a country giving him and others so much, with its President’s Award.
- A Stanford University administrator by telling a fraternity house to remove the American flag as an “intimidating, aggressive or alienating” symbol.
- The NAACP – the nation’s pre-eminent civil rights organization – by rewarding hate-crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett with its Image Award.
While failing to instill respect for an imperfect nation more perfect than any other among the community of nations, schools and universities leave students lacking appreciation for sacrifices made by those before us to create and preserve the bailment they now hold.
Educators foolishly provide a protective bubble environment, shielding students from the world’s hardships and realities. In disbelief, baby boomers witness the outrageous extreme to which this has gone, evidenced by the 2016 presidential election. “Safe spaces” were created for students unable to cope with Donald Trump’s victory – lavishing them with puppies to cuddle and books to color.
Traditional values making America great were part of our DNA, recognized as American exceptionalism. Some suggest this constitutes misplaced “nationalism.” But, as one critic notes, “A little nationalism is necessary for holding together a nation-state or a people. If there isn’t some conception of ‘us,’ then there is no investment in the success of the collective enterprise. Countries without a sense of being a nation do not last and cannot get much done.”
But, today, exceptionalism is a dirty word. A generation of liberal educators, journalists and politicians immunize today’s young against it with a progressive vaccine disrupting our traditional values’ DNA makeup. America’s two-plus century run of bequeathing an enhanced bailment is coming to an end.
Sadly, future generations will learn, puppies and coloring books will be of no avail for a bailment so squandered.