Society was lost when kids stopped respecting authority
Three distinct writers coming from different angles in the March 23 Gazette all catalog the decline of American society.
Gazette columnist Sara Foss documents the unemployment crisis among American teenagers — the lowest rate post-World War II — and the loss of core values and training that go along with entry-level jobs.
Janice Bever, in a [March 23] letter to the editor, opines about the frenetic and frivolous use of smart phones which is rampant in the population, leading to greater risk to life and limb on the road and distractions of the media leading to the dumbing down of the population. George Will, nationally syndicated columnist, echoes Rep. Paul Ryan’s characterization of a “tailspin of culture” in America, “due to men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.”
Will also points out that Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan recognized this problem almost 50 years ago, when 26 percent of American children were born out of wedlock, as opposed to 41 percent today.
The cultural decline of American society is not color-coded, has no racial etiology and is not driven by class differences. While all these factors may serve to highlight analysis, one can never get to the bottom of the problem by focusing on just social processes; nor can people change the outcome by just legislating social programs to address the cultural decline.
One has to address a deeper problem rooted in a change in the way young people perceive themselves and their social relationships. This change has destructive personal and social consequences. Remember in 1960, 70 percent of black children still lived in two-parent households, as well as 96 percent of white children. The world before this change was fundamentally different culturally.
With the breakdown of traditional authority, according to psychiatrist Dr. Charles Konia, “destructive emotions were expressed through intellectualized rationalizations, hatred and contempt of authority. Blame and resentment were directed at traditional authority figures in all areas of society. Young people became more irrational and out of touch with themselves and with the world.” This is the state of affairs in our society today, where so many people are clueless.
These were the baby boomers, the flower children, the rebels without a cause. Many of them have since settled down. The campus revolutionaries are now tenured professors, business leaders and politicians. As Will’s article points out, the decisive factors are not economic (or racial or political) but cultural (“habits, mores, customs”).
One simple litmus test: Before the establishment of the anti-authoritarian society, what percentage of children obeyed their parents, followed traditions, listened to their teachers? How about today?
Gov’t investigators should leave Young be
I was greatly saddened by the story about the Rev. Peter Young [March 27 Gazette].
Knowing the man as I do, I can say with conviction that his only desire is to help those who need help. From what I have seen, his commitment to the needy is unending.
What the world needs is more people like Rev. Young and fewer people like the state’s attorney general [who is investigating Young] and federal government employees who are harassing him.
Liberals are wrecking Democratic Party
I have been a Democrat since I was discharged from the Navy in 1945 with a medical disability.
I was proud to serve my country and say I was a Democrat. But for the past five years, I [have been] ashamed to say I am a Democrat. The party has gone too liberal.
They used to vote for what was good for the citizen. Today, they vote for what the liberals want. Too many are breaking the law with lies and theft. In the state, legislators are lying and stealing. They are educated people but they break the law and steal.
We have to stop being so liberal.
The March 26 letter from Rich Leon, headlined “Time to stop bashing George W. Bush,” was intended as a sarcastic response to Janice Bever’s March 23 letter, which had been critical not of Bush but of President Obama, without naming him.
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