Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My America

I miss my America. It has changed over the years, and not for the better. Love of country is now referred to as "nationalism" and is framed as a bad thing. Christianity is assailed and denigrated. The white population is called "supremacist". Police and military are spat on by those not qualified to shine their boots.

When I started school, WWII was in full swing. Food was rationed. Almost all production went into the war effort. Women who had never worked outside their home went to work in factories doing jobs that only men had done in the past.

In school, we said the Pledge of Allegiance, saluted the flag, and sang patriotic songs. We brought in nickles and dimes to by War Stamps. When we had enough, we traded them in for bonds. Everyone had skin in the game. My uncles served in the military and I was proud of them. Thank God, they all came home.

We learned civics and geography. We learned about the rest of the world in social studies. We learned to read, and most of us learned to love books and the knowledge they contained. We were taught real arithmetic and later, mathematics. Not all of us planned on college. But in those days there were good manufacturing jobs where skills could be learned and hard work and ambition became a ticket up the ladder. Loyalty counted.

Sometime in the sixties, the geniuses that ran our country decided that Americans shouldn't get their hands dirty anymore. Everyone should go to college and work in offices. We no longer needed manufacturing. We could be a service society. Many apprenticeship programs that provided great training for those who couldn't or did not want to go to college just faded away. Manual skills were looked down on.

In those days, our freedoms and our privacy were respected. The government was much smaller and didn't try to control everyone's life. If you did not live in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, I cannot explain to you the sense of freedom that the average American felt. I dearly wish that I could. I really miss my America.

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