President Obama quipped in a speech in Iowa that the Republican convention espoused ideas “better suited for the last century. “You might as well have watched it on a black and white TV.” the crowd laughed and cheered. That set me to thinking: the last half of the last century was my half-century. Looking around today, I can think of several things that were pretty good about that century. Some historians have called it “The American century.” I wonder what they will call this one? I remember when we thought divorce was wrong and that kids needed two parents, preferably one from each gender. I think that was a good idea. I remember when we thought it was wrong to kill children in the womb. I think that was a pretty good idea. In retrospect, I think the whole “sexual revolution” was pretty much a disaster. I remember starting every school day with a corporate appeal to the God of the Bible, followed by a heartfelt rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance. I like it! We thought communism was evil and shouldn’t be countenanced in the halls of our government. Indeed, despite his character problems and methodological malfunctions, Joe McCarthy was right. We knew Israel was favored by God ad we wanted to be in on the blessing. Good stuff!
We certainly did some things wrong in the 20th century. It took us the first 65 years to realize that racial apartheid was wrong, but we did. We got bogged down in a couple of undeclared wars that we didn’t have the will to win. That doesn’t seem to have changed. We toyed with the notion of a welfare state funded by confiscatory taxation, but Mr. Reagan got us straightened out for a while. Though we managed to push back the external threat of National Socialism from Germany and International Socialism from the Soviet Union, we allowed their intellectual and spiritual spawn to infect our educational institutions, and we are now being threatened from within. Somehow we allowed our kids to be taught that competition was bad, that drugs were good, and that integrity was old-fashioned. With all that in mind, I would like to suggest a few ideas from the last century that we ought to resurrect:
Somebody Said: “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”