Grassroots Commentary

Back in the Day...

Larry Reams · Jun. 8, 2015

We’ve all seen the emails comparing “yester-year” with today. Mostly they compare the dress of the 1950’s with today’s; the automobiles then and now; the technology then and now; the movies; the music, restaurants etc., etc. I’d like to focus on the attitude, the character, the humanity that existed then compared to today.

I was born during WWII in small-town USA, in the South, of parents who were married during the Great Depression and never finished high school. They knew hard work, hard times, independence, self-sufficiency, perseverence and responsibility. They had courage. They were just like the millions of other Americans who back in the day didn’t have all that Americans have today. They appreciated what they had because they had to earn it themselves, unlike so many today. If they didn’t have food to feed the kids, they went out and earned it or grew it in the back yard. They didn’t scream at others, steal it, or look to big government. The post WWII generation of adults are mostly gone now and unfortunately so are their values. Their children are in their ‘60’s and '70’s.

Children of that era were taught the same values. We knew right from wrong and were not confused about what action or decision we should make. And all adults looked out for one another’s children and knew they had permission to discipline someone else’s child if they misbehaved. Try that today. Neighbors don’t even know neighbors. Let an adult, or a teacher, try to correct a misbehaving child today and they’ll find themselves out of a job and probably in court.

Back in the day we didn’t even lock the doors at night or if we were gone. No one meant us harm or would dare steal anything from our home. Try that today when crime is plentiful and generally violent.

Back in the day our schools taught history, civics, discipline, responsibility as well as readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmatic. Your self esteem was your own responsibility. Teachers endeavored to prepare you for a harsh world. And we were not pansies. Dodge ball was permitted on the playground. Today? It’s all upside down. Students are pampered, not taught. What they are taught doesn’t prepare them for the real world, only the fantasy world imagined by leftist groups. They graduate from college and don’t know who the first president was, who fought in the Revolutionary War, what the Civil War was all about and have never read the U.S. Constitution. And, they can’t read up to grade level but they sure can push buttons on that iPad and they know which movie star is sleeping around.

Back in the day the “family” was the reason for getting up everyday and going to work; for sacrificing yourself so they could have more. Families were much closer, even the extended family. For the most part marriages were “till death do us part.” Divorce was seriously frowned upon and abortion was unheard of. Today? It too is upside down. We can’t even agree on the 2000 year old institution of “marriage” and abortion is as common as taking an aspirin. In the black community the definition of “family” is a woman with 3, 4, 5 or more kids and no hubby. But there’s always the government check.

Back in the day we went to church every Sunday. There wasn’t even a question about it. The non believers were few and far between and stayed to themselves. Today those non believers want the rest of us to join them in not believing. There’s a war on Christianity. The non believers are highly vocal and the Christians are silent. The preachers of my day preached “hell, fire and brimstone.” Today many are more worried about how much money is in the collection plate on Sunday and their 501(c)(3)s status.

Back in the day “most” politicians were honest and tried to serve the country and their constituents. There was a higher ratio of veterans to non veterans in congress. Character, integrity, trust, honesty, principle, values were common place among their ranks. Their Oath of Office meant something. And today? Whee, how things have changed. Corruption, dishonesty, self-serving decisions, lack of character, misrepresentations and BS rhetoric, etc. are the rule rather than the exception. Blatant lies are common place. Integrity? What’s that? The Oath of Office is now just a perfunctory part of the ceremony so one can take his / her seat. There is zero trust or integrity in today’s Oval Office. And a veteran in congress? Not many.

During post WWII America, through the 1950’s, we were a united country. Those who lived then had experienced the war, many the Great Depression before it, and knew the value of sticking together and doing your part. We were a “United” States of America. Today the divisiveness parallels the era prior to the Civil War. Our political environment fosters that divisiveness, deliberately. We are no longer united; we’re at each other’s throats. “A house divided cannot stand.”

In 1950 the term “political correctness” was an unknown; not found in any dictionary or book of terms. Today it’s part of the great undoing of our Constitutional Republic. It has led to ignoring fact and truth in favor of an agenda, trying to redefine common terms such as “marriage,” ignoring the obvious such as “Islamic terrorism," proclaiming the need for "tolerance” by the intolerant, and not understanding the definition of the word “is.” Wrong is now right, black is now white, up is now down and men are now women. Lord help us.

When truth ceases to be important; when common sense is trumped by political correctness; when the family unit ceases to be important or to even exist; when elected officials serve themselves over God, country, Constitution and constituents; when laws are applicable to only those with no influence or no celebrity; when voters vote based on race, sex, charm and whoever is the coolest; when bad character is overlooked in favor of influence or deep pockets; when the Constitution is considered irrelevant to modern times; when self-sufficiency and self reliance take a back seat to big government and taxpayer charity; when we give up our rights and independence and become powerless and dependent; when Christians and the silent majority remain silent; when big money donors determine policy; when socialist / communist are in charge of government and policy; when ministers openly preach and advocate for policies that defy Biblical teachings; when the Armed Forces ceases to be a fighting force and becomes a social experiment; when the media ceases to be made up of journalists in favor of biased political operatives; when sex dominates the TV, movies, magazines instead of wholesome family entertainment; when traditional morality ceases to exist; when the lines between right and wrong are blurred; and when the citizenry are as clueless as Justin Beeber regarding the state of affairs of our country but vote anyway, we’re in trouble. America, we’re in trouble! America today is nothing like what it was back in the day of the late '40’s and '50's and following this path it will cease to exist in another '20, '30, '40 years if not sooner.

Back when this republic was founded, we were a Godly nation. We remained so up into the 1950’s. Faith, family and freedom were important. Today we are rapidly becoming a godless nation.

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”(John Adams, 1798)

“Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.” (William Penn)

“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, we are a nation gone under.” (Ronald Reagan)

If you weren’t around back in the day so as to draw a comparison between then and now, I’m sorry you missed it.

Comments welcomed.

(Mr. Reams is a Christian, senior citizen, family man, veteran, conservative and retired small business owner.;

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