The Greatest Generation Gets Some of the Blame
Tom Brokaw likes to give credit to what he calls the “Greatest Generation” for the sacrifices and the efforts they gave to survive the depression of the 1930’s and then go on to win the world’s worst war, World War II. All of that is true. It is also true that they stood behind the most magnanimous act any country has ever performed, the Marshall Plan, where, for the first time in history, the victor rescued the losers when the United States helped bring prosperity and democracy to Germany and Japan. Always in the past, losers were looted by the winners.
The problem is that this “Greatest Generation” vowed that when they got home, they would see that their children would never have to suffer the depravations and the humiliations that they had to face in childhood and young adulthood. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. My generation was in-between; I was a child during that war and experienced only a little of the deprivations of depression and war, but all that ended, and the generations that followed never knew what it was like to go hungry and to be completely powerless. From the 1950’s on, America has experienced a prosperity for the average person heretofore unknown in the history of mankind. The results have been uneven.
Unfortunately two debilitating events happened in the 1960’s and early seventies – President Kennedy was assassinated, and the Vietnam War dragged on – crushing the aspirations and frazzling the bonds between country, authority and youth. In addition, this youth was well-fed and had enjoyed a childhood of comfort and convenience – not exactly character-building experiences. Out of the Vietnam experience also developed the infusion into America’s colleges and universities of professors who had no connection with anything greater than themselves and who saw themselves as the vanguard of a new belief system – me, me, me. Grades were inflated to help students avoid the draft, and a “hate-America” philosophy began to be woven into the curriculum. That Watergate also happened was icing on the cake – further proving to them that representative government was a sham, and that all power was corrupt.
Below is an excerpt of a recent review of his book, The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, Dinesh D’Souza, Doubleday, 352 pages
“[W]hat has changed in America since the 1960s,” he writes, “is the erosion of belief in an external moral order. This is the most important political fact of the past half century.” He provides numerous examples of how this changed view of morality has transformed America, from the debasement of popular culture, to the rapid spread of pornography, to the widespread acceptance of what was universally regarded in the past as sexual immorality, to what D’Souza regards as the inevitable result of such changes: the breakdown of the American family.”
Now we have a situation where not only our universities contain this poison, but also our public school system is staffed with many teachers (graduates of those colleges) who seem to know nothing else but the philosophy of nihilism. They know no history but the distorted versions fed to them, they respect no values, and they teach our children what they have been taught; and the older generations, like me, look on in horror. Do they know that their country and Western culture were the first to recognize the evil inhumanity of slavery and voluntarily ended the practice? Do they know that slavery was practiced throughout history by all cultures and is still practiced in some African and Middle Eastern countries today? No, they have only been taught that previous generations of Americans enslaved blacks.
The other main criticisms we hear of American and Western culture are ethnocentrism and colonialism. Again, what is missing in the lessons taught our students is that these practices were common in all civilizations throughout history, and it is America (with some British examples) that threw off ethnocentrism by recognizing and absorbing the best from other cultures – and ended colonialism. It is the height of patronizing condescension to impose current standards of morality on people who lived hundreds of years ago, and to judge them to be deficient.
What can be done about this other than to lament its existence and predict its obvious outcome – the complete disintegration of American society and with it the joining of other once-great civilizations on the scrapheap of history? Obviously no-one would or should advocate deliberately ending our prosperity; the cure would be worse than the disease. But there is something we can do – attack the center of where the cancer is the greatest – American academia. Expose the nonsense being inculcated in our young people by the new fascists. Expose them and get rid of them, as happened with Ward Churchill, a poster boy for those out to destroy all that made us great.
Fortunately there are several organizations that have been hard at work fighting this evil – among them are: Frontpagemag.com where David Horowitz has been doing heroic work for years, the Individual Rights Foundation, Judicial Watch and Students for Academic Freedom.
Support these organizations; contribute to them and inform them of instances that you see of this anti-American lunacy we have been putting up with for far too long.
Final Note: I know this piece has been largely gloomy about our future and the fight we are in, but I actually believe that most Americans do not endorse the anti-Americanism and nonsense I have described. Most Americans support their country and understand what our Founding Fathers meant when they spoke of being “endowed by our Creator”. The problem is that the destroyers have wormed their way into our most influential bodies – our schools, our colleges and universities, our media and our entertainment industry. Their influence is much greater than their numbers.
And the fact is that there have been several “Greatest Generations” throughout America’s history. Fifty years from now our grandchildren will be calling the men and women now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan – the “Greatest Generation”.