Over the last 40 years, the U.S. has seen a lot of change. The last three years of the 1970’s saw gasoline rationing, hostage crises in the middle east, and in general, the world seemed to be gearing up for something big. The 1980 election, however, saw a change, with the election of Ronald Reagan. His “Are you better off than you were four years ago,” resonated with the American people, and ushered in eight years of low taxes, smaller government, and in general, a country that had happy and prosperous citizens. As is the norm with any political environment, the pendulum swings back ever few years, and we saw that happen in 1992 with the election of Bill Clinton. For eight years, taxes went up, the Military was scaled down, haunted by scandal, and in general, not allowed to easily do its job. The attacks on September 11th 2001 saw a swing back, only to have a reversal eight years later, and another eight years after that, bringing us to the current administration.
All of this, taken as a broad picture, doesn’t seem too out of place for any other era of American history, but the smaller moves happening over this time frame set the stage for what we have today. The movement in the 1970’s, protesting against any form of Military Engagement, or the “Make love, not war” era, saw the beginning of our troops being branded murderers or worse. This, naturally, started small, with just those coming home feeling the brunt of the movement’s ire, but over time, this has branched out. The Military was just one arm of Big Brother, out to oppress those it was told to. President Reagan was shot, the first President since J.F.K. to be attacked, but survived, starting the debate on Gun Control, which continues to the present day, and naturally, is one that stays heated to the boiling point regardless of who is doing the “debating.”
Other aspects of the country’s culture have also changed as well, from how taxation is seen, how those less fortunate should be helped, and how those who are different from the norm should be treated. Forty years ago, if you were to claim to be different, the world mostly said “good for you” and expected that you be a productive member of society, and that was it. Today, special accommodations are demanded, protests are held, and the country is all but held hostage to a minority of the population. This, sadly, stems from another product of a changing America, education. The 1970’s saw a diversion in teaching from certain topics. English and math, naturally, were left as they were, as how to write a paper or solve an equation would be hard to change, but history and other topics, well, they not only involve facts, but emotion.
The movie Dazed and Confused tells the story of students in 1977 getting out of school for the summer, and shows a history teacher telling “Okay guys, one more thing, this summer when you’re being inundated with all this American bicentennial Fourth Of July brouhaha, don’t forget what you’re celebrating, and that’s the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white males didn’t want to pay their taxes.” (Dazed and Confused – 1993) Having gone to college to study history, this is a blatantly biased thing to say, as those who “didn’t want to pay their taxes” were being taxed by a government that didn’t have anyone in the Colonies to see what was happening, and those taxes did very little for those paying them. (Stamp Act, Library of Congress) The British government, after the Seven Years’ War, was buried in debt, and so, levied a tax solely on the American Colonies in an attempt to alleviate their debt. The Colonists, naturally, didn’t like paying taxes and getting little to nothing in return, does this sound familiar?
In hindsight, yes, the Stamp Act was a minimal tax, but seeing a government willing to tax only one group of their citizenry, with said tax being largely just to recoup losses from war, sat very sourly with those being taxed. While it was mocked in the TV show Sleepy Hollow, with Ichabod Crane being shocked that while the Colonies had a revolution over the Stamp Act, the sales tax in modern times is accepted, the difference is still clear. In 1765, the British Government in London levied a tax on only the Colonies, and used a majority of that revenue to recoup losses from a war that did not involve those being taxed. Sales tax today is levied by a government duly elected by those being taxed. Yes, I personally think it’s a bit high, and would like to see it go down, but rather than a revolution, every two years, Americans are able to either keep those who are in power in power, or replace them, which is what the American Revolution was about, representation, not just taxes.
Having won the War of Independence, the new country sought to lay out laws that would not only benefit the people, but also show that one group would not be unduly burdened for any other to flourish, giving us not only the Constitution, but the Bill of Rights. In the first Ten Amendments, we see that all Americans have the same basic rights, and for almost 200 years, this served the country well. Many will point to slavery or women’s suffrage as examples that the document was flawed, but one needs only look at the social mores of the time, and to how changes came to see that the American model has much to offer to other forms of governance. Yes, slavery happened and it wasn’t until the mid-1800’s that the American people came to blows over it. After a bloody war, where people often fought those they loved, slavery was done away with, those freed from their bonds were helped to assimilate, and the road to true equality began.
Women were not allowed to vote until the early 1900’s, (19th Amendment) and yet again, the mores of the time are the reason. Yes, women were, are, and will forever be an integral part of society. However, the world at the time of U.S. independence from Britain was a vastly different one than we have today. The jobs were far more demanding physically, far more dangerous in many cases, and thus, women weren’t able to perform at the same level as men. Add to this, those now running this fledgling country were all raised under an almost feudal system, and it falls to reason that, at least at the beginning, they would be governing both in a way similar to what they saw early in their lives, and in a way so as to make the system better. From a system where only men who owned land were citizens allowed to vote, to one where every male could vote, to what we have today, the growth shows a country dedicated to the ideals set forth in the Constitution, but also one that had to have a starting point, so they could not only govern themselves, but also grow in how they govern.
Sadly, this growth has empowered those who feel they are slighted to feel that anything they are “denied” is a “right” they should have. Free speech, for example, does mean you are free to say what you wish to, but you are not free from the repercussions of said speech. Freedom of religion means you may practice your religion how you feel is right, but you are not free from seeing others do the same, and religious icons are not “government sponsored religion,” but rather often honor a group that should be honored. The world has come from a time when people were oppressed by a government to follow the official religion of the state, to one where you may follow your heart, be that in going to Church, or not having any religion at all. Today, however, that is perverted into telling students they cannot wear certain things, cannot pray over their meal, or must learn the ways of a “culture” that simultaneously claims to be a culture and a faith.
The world we live in today, while more dangerous than the world the Founders lived in, is seeing a change in how the dangers are addressed. For over two centuries, the right to keep and bear arms was just that, the right to own weapons. Many point to it being so that a militia could be formed quickly in times of need, as the Colonies didn’t have a standing army, nor could they quickly arm one, contrary to the world of today, but the verbiage is very clear when it states “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” (2nd Amendment) Many today make the claim that this means only those who could be drafted should have them, that the amendment means muskets, or that because we don’t need to form a militia any more, it’s no longer valid. Cases of mass shootings are brought out to show that guns are the problem, and blatant lies are told to try to disarm the public.
For over two centuries, firearms were seen for what they are, tools with the power to harm and kill, and so, the use of one to harm or kill was prosecuted, not for using a gun, but for harming or killing another. Those screaming for everyone to give up their guns forget or ignore that mankind has been fighting and killing each other since the dawn of our history. Cain killed his brother with a stone, David killed Goliath with a pebble. In recent history, we’ve seen an attack in Europe where a man used a truck to kill, or on an American campus where the attacker only had a knife. Every day we hear stories of battered women, where their attackers used their bare hands. The issue here isn’t the tool used for violence, it’s the heart of the person committing said violence. Watching social media, those calling for women to be armed, to lessen restrictions on firearm sales that are useless, and for people in general to educate themselves with regard to this issue are attacked. Claims that they want to “put weapons into the hands of those who beat their wives” are made, ignoring that if these women had a firearm, they could either ward off an attack with the threat of force, or if needed, fight back from a much stronger position, but that doesn’t sell papers.
Crime in general is also reported on from an emotional standpoint, such as in the case of how to handle “hate crimes” or cases of rape. In early 2017, four black teens kidnapped a special needs white student, kept him bound, beat him, and tortured him for more than a day in many other ways, yet when it came time to charge, them, there were cries that it wasn’t a hate crime, simply because the criminals were black. On the other side of the issue, any crime committed against any minority group is instantly a hate crime, no matter what, in essence, telling the world that white Americans have fewer rights than non-white Americans. Rape, a horrible crime on its own, for a time had people on the fringe trying to defend rapists by accusing the victim of dressing so as to invite it, or worse. Sadly, those who spoke out against that argument, but who also wanted to teach women to defend themselves, were accused of trying to protect the rapists of the world. “Just teach men not to rape” was a mantra for many, as if you can teach those who are violent criminals not to be that, rather than locking them away for life.
We, as a society, have been told for many years what “the problem” is, from racism, to guns, to “rape culture,” to equal rights, and every time, those telling the world are completely wrong in their stance. If you want equality, don’t demand special treatment. If you want safety, don’t demand everyone else disarm, and if you want tolerance, practice what you preach. As long as parents of small children who don’t want someone who is biologically male in the women’s restroom are called bigots, as long as those who point out that the minority applicants were not qualified, as long as all white people are called racist simply because they’re white, the problems we are facing today will persist, and get worse. The question therefore stands, how many will recognize the first step, and take it?
At the core of this fight is a system of beliefs that are so diametrically opposed as to make one question how they could even exist in the same country. On the left, the core belief is that in order to provide any service, the Government must take money in the form of taxes, and then subsidize said program. On the right, the belief is that worthy programs will be funded by the people directly, allowing the programs most favored to flourish, while those seen as unneeded or detrimental to society will fall away. Naturally, this breeds discontent and anger on both sides, as one group will remind the world that “a needed program is being cut” while the other will repeat that programs which the people do not approve of should not be funded by force.
The image above shows the normal narrative used by those on the left, attempting to portray that cutting a program, or pursuing a goal will harm others. What this does not show is that programs which the world supports, when not funded by taxes, will be funded by donations. Looking at the image, the artist would have the viewer believe that the Christian voters of America are so bent on overturning Roe V Wade that they are trampling orphans, widows, and strangers. In the early days of the Trump administration, many Democrats took to quoting scripture, such as where Christ speaks about feeding the poor, or the “Insomuch as you do unto these” reference. What is left out, however, is that these are commands to his followers. He is not speaking as to say we should surrender all we have to the Government, allowing them to choose who will benefit from funding, but rather, is telling is directly to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless and so on.
This is the core of the struggle for America’s future, two groups bent on control, one totally unwilling to compromise, the other only willing to compromise minimally. There are many symptoms of this fight, some used by the media for ratings and to attack certain people or groups, others harped on incessantly to fight for “rights” for some groups, and others ignored or marginalized so as to marginalize those fighting for them. Until there is open conversation, without the infighting and attacks, we will continue to see civility degrade, government fail, and our country grow weaker by the day.
From Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 through the inauguration of Donald Trump in 2017, the media has been flooded with stories from one group or another about their rights being trampled, or completely denied. From the right to have a cake made by whomever you want, to the right to choose which restroom you wish to use, anything that is desired becomes a right, and is fought for as if not having it will end in death. Some moves were made, such as a directive to all fifty States from the White House, instructing them that refusal to allow students to use the restroom or locker room for the gender they identify as could result in penalties, which was quickly rescinded in the early days of Donald Trump’s administration. When this happened, the media began to report on how transgender students are being outed and required to brave dangerous environments, as if rescinding a directive, which has no power to be enforced, would suddenly turn public schools into 1939 Poland and Germany, with arm patches and concentration camps. Celebrity social media was filled with tearful and angry posts, and the truth was ignored. This was not about outing anyone, or forcing anyone into danger, it was about what the Constitution, at its core, stands for, the right for States to decide when the Federal Government is not explicitly given that power.
Prior to this, corporations came down on both sides of the isle, with some opening up their restrooms and changing rooms based on identity, and others falling to the right, enforcing the Men’s and Women’s rooms were for those who biologically were Men or Women. One example is Target, arguably a giant in the retail world, issuing a statement that they would allow people to choose, only to have another statement not long after that, announcing expansion plans being cancelled. To most people, this shows the heart of the free market, capitalist society that America has been for years is working. If a company acts counter to your beliefs, you are free to choose if you wish to spend money with them. Unfortunately, this is counter to the agenda for the left, which is to say, it’s allowing people to choose not to follow their orders.
The same time period, 2009 to 2017, also saw more than one example of a business forced to close, and in some cases, the owners forced to move, simply because they chose not to do business with someone. Too many, this is the core of a capitalist society, the “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” sign that used to adorn so many businesses, but this is no longer kosher for the left. As a child, I saw businesses rise and fall based on this very principle, simply because customers talked to each other, and either started or continued patronizing a business due to good service, or avoided a business due to unfavorable practices. Today, however, if a business makes this choice, the left react by suing and demanding their right to be served. The opposite is not true though, as when a man called on thirteen bakeries owned by a gay man or woman, he was refused, and nothing was done.
This is due to two factors, first that the man did not sue, but rather chose only to post the results of his calls to be viewed by those who wanted to, and second, as many believe, he would not have been successful. As this story states, you can state that bestiality is wrong, or that polygamy is wrong, and no one will bat an eye, but to say that gay marriage is wrong means you are a hateful bigot who attacks others and you must be destroyed. Questions such as if the gay couple went to a bakery owned by a Muslim were asked, and shrugged off with mere repetition of the party line that the baker the couple did go to is evil being the only thing heard. I have actually posted that I would never be a wedding photographer for a gay wedding, as an experiment, and was met with almost total rage and hatred. Even with my instant comment, which was pinned under the post, as to ensure it remained at the top, stating that my statement was due to the fact that I am not qualified to be a wedding photographer for anyone, I was accused of bigotry, called every name under the sun, and in some cases threatened with violence. I wonder what the reaction to someone posting they would never be a photographer for a traditional wedding would be? With or without the addition that they aren’t a photographer, it can almost be guaranteed that the reaction would be what the author intended, humor. This, therefore, shows that society has come to a point where not providing a service that must be paid for is seen as wrong, while the government subsidizing able bodied adults’ desire not to work is defended as a needed social service. The willful ignorance, sadly, leads to far more, and will only be solved, at this point, by swift action, and the strength to stand by that action until it’s shown to be the right choice.
In the same arena of conversation, the opposite side of the coin is getting worse by the year. While a private baker refusing to bake a cake is a national court case, many are being denied their rights on a daily basis. At the heart of the 2016 Presidential race, among many issues, was the dependence on government “benefits” that has taken over as income for so many. Stories abound about fraud, from people collecting benefits owed to the dead, to having multiple accounts, to using said benefits for unauthorized purchases. March of 2017 saw the screaming escalate, as programs such as PBS, Meals on Wheels and Planned Parenthood saw their federal funding either drop dramatically, or totally. Naturally, the media begins the preaching that these are needed programs, people will die without them, or another emotional approach, ignoring the facts to the contrary. PBS, while they would see a decline initially in their funding, would not be broke and forced to go off the air. Private donations would increase if their donors suddenly have more disposable income, not to mention the millions of dollars a year in revenue from merchandise just using Sesame Street, which is not a new idea. Yes, initially they would see a drop in the money coming in, which might mean shows that aren’t popular are moved to a new time, or cancelled. Perhaps they won’t be 24/7/365 for a while, but none of this is “killing public broadcasting.”
Continuing with this train of thought, one needs only look to Houston, Texas in the latter years of the Obama administration to see actual rights being trampled, and a silent media. In October of 2014, the city of Houston became the center of a major debate on religious freedom, as Pastors were served a subpoena to surrender copies of upcoming sermons for review, to ensure that no “hate speech” was included. This is also a part of the movie God’s Not Dead 2, released in the spring of 2016, where a Pastor is jailed after he refuses to surrender his. Houston didn’t see things go that far, as the Pastors sued the city for violating the First Amendment, and the issue was later just dropped. While a gay couple screams that their right to choose any baker was denied, Texas Pastors were threatened in an attempt to censor what they could preach. Sadly, both of these incidents, along with the bathroom debate, have set precedents. On the issue of Pastors being made to have sermons approved, the precedent is on their side, but on the other issues, it’s squarely against the vast majority of people in the country.
At the heart of all of these issues, though, is the same thing, religious liberty. The right to worship and believe as we are led to. As a Christian, this right is fundamental to so many in the world, and only a very few countries recognize it as a right. This, naturally, means that non-Christians are also free to worship and believe as they see fit, including those who choose to not worship, and for decades, even centuries, all of these groups live in relative peace. Growing up in the 1980’s, I can remember asking why Fort Worth seemed to have a Church everywhere I looked, and even the small town where my family was had more than a dozen, and it struck me as something I wanted to know more about. My parents explained that not everyone was the same, and so, some Churches weren’t like ours, as well as everyone who believed the same not being able to attend the same Church, just due to size. Naturally, as I grew and learned, I found more and more about the differences, and sadly, saw those who believed differently than me grew in their vehemence that everything was an affront to their right to religious freedom.
To read the news or watch any commentary on television, you would hear so many stories about minorities oppressed by “alt-right” groups. Stories of homosexuals who feel they aren’t safe because of Christians, or other bigotry, but the image above is more indicative of society today. Christians are told they can’t say certain things, while the opposite is not true for those “oppressed” by Christians. Step onto almost any university campus today, and you will see signs up for every club imaginable, just not many, if any, for conservative groups. Stories abound from universities like UC Berkley about conservatives hounded until they leave, or events cancelled after a speaker was invited, yet these are never called what they are, censorship.
Counter to the image above, showing just how violent some on the left can be, others stick with the preemptive model, hounding those hosting an event until a speaker is uninvited or the event is cancelled. After The Triggering, an event where speakers such as Milo Yiannopoulos took political correctness to the woodshed, however, the country saw just what students want, which is to be pandered to and protected. The aftermath, with the world having seen the very students demanding tolerance showing obscenities at the speakers, Amherst College Republicans were accused of being a “hate group,” and others demanded that the University Administration apologize to students for hosting the event.
Having attended University in Texas, much of this was not present, and what was, well, it was as minimal as to not even need much ignoring. Yes, there were calls for something not to be said because it was “hateful,” but the professors quickly shot those demands down, enforcing that in order to learn, you must be exposed to many things, not all of which you will find pleasing. Education isn’t about learning only what you find appealing, and shunning what you find bad, you must learn about what you dislike if you are to either fight it or avoid it. With students given “safe spaces” where they can color pictures or play with toys at every “triggering” they will enter the work force and not be ready for the first performance review that isn’t someone just lavishing praise on them. Those seen in the videos of The Triggering, you could almost bet, will be the first to go to their H.R. rep about a “hostile work environment” when counselled about attendance or performance, something anyone else should know is part of adult life. Unfortunately, those about to enter the adult world are woefully under prepared for this, to the point that the North Bend Public Library, in Oregon, has begun offering classes in Adulting 101, teaching skills such as cooking, changing your own oil, and other tasks that previous generations often learned from their parents before high school. Until common sense is returned to society, sadly, this trend will only get worse, until there is an entire workforce of people who demand that customers not be mean, by asking them to do their job, and far more.
The heart of this issue, sadly, is simple common sense and education. During the 1980’s, students were taught that they must be responsible for their actions, true, but also that they could not force others to do what they want. A recent comic depicting then and now, where the parents for Then, shown a failing grade on a test, asked the student to explain, while the parents for Now demanded the teacher explain. Not only does this show children that they aren’t responsible, but that they can make others change to suit their desires. This, naturally, leads to bigger problems as these students grow, enter University, and eventually the workforce. During the 2016 election, students at more than one University demanded that they be given “safe spaces” where they wouldn’t be “assaulted” by speech they disagreed with, as shown when a simple chalk inscription of the word Trump on a sidewalk was decried as a hate crime. When President Trump was declared the winner, other students demanded that their exams be postponed to allow them to “deal with the tragedy.” While not in school at the time, no one should remember anyone even asking for time off from class after the September 11, 2001 attacks. When Princess Diana was killed in the 1990’s, British students didn’t demand that school be put on hold, just as students in 1963 didn’t even suggest time off after President Kennedy was shot.
Counter to this attitude of demanding everyone stop when they’re offended, of needing a “safe space” where even ideas they aren’t fond of are banned, when confronted with the world not bowing to them, these same students lash out with violence and hate. An event at the University of California at Berkley, where Milo Yiannopoulos was to speak, sparked a riot where an employee attacked a man, Milo was forced to leave due to threats against him, and parts of the University were set on fire. The Inauguration of President Trump in January of 2017 saw much of the same in Washington D.C., with attendees blocked from entering an event on public property by people who opposed the new President, businesses damaged, and cars and more set on fire. While those in D.C. have been indicted, as of March 2017, little to nothing has been done at UC Berkley. Where the world goes from here, having watched “pranks” like the knock-out “game” or those in New York involving masks and apparent weapons, and now this, is a very scary question in deed.
The 1950’s and 1960’s saw the Civil Rights Movement, protesting laws where people of color couldn’t use certain water fountains or restrooms, had to ride at the back of the bus if they were let on at all, or had “separate but equal” schools, today sees students and adults crying racism at the drop of a hat, such as when someone is arrested, resists, and the police react, or when they aren’t hired for a job they feel they deserve, yet aren’t qualified for. When asked why so few in their demographic attend higher education, the answer that “colleges are racist” is given in some form or another, either decrying testing, financial aid, or another aspect of the admissions process. That, however, has now evolved into Cultural Appropriation, where students are attacked for having dreadlocks or an afro, women are asked to remove braids from their hair, or worse, because “they appropriated the style from another culture.” Some counter these claims with questions of why those screaming about this wear clothing that was designed originally by Caucasians, or eat food that was developed in Europe, thus, “appropriating white culture,” and while a witty rejoinder to their claims, this normally just evokes more hate and violence. In early 2017, a female athlete was approached by a black woman, who demanded the athlete remove braids from her hair, only to then physically assault the woman when she didn’t follow these orders given to her by a stranger. She later claimed she didn’t do anything to the athlete, although witnesses support the victim.
When did it become OK to jump to physically assault someone over a hair style? The simple answer, sadly, is that it became OK due to others defending these attackers because of “systemic racism” being so bad they feel as if they’re already under attack, so they’re “defending themselves.” This claim would make it sound like simply wearing a hair style they feel is part of their culture is the same as assaulting them. As long as this isn’t immediately shot down, the attacks will only get worse, until the inevitable end is reached, and someone is killed because of clothing or their hair. The hard truth is, though, that it will be extremely hard to do, as it will mean jail, community service, harsh fines, and more, when these attacks happen, as well as not charging the victim with anything when they defend themselves. Much like some states will charge you with murder for shooting someone who would have killed you otherwise, there needs to be common sense reintroduced to the system, punishing those who act wrongly, and defending those they hurt.
Another example of the arrogance in today’s young adults and teens, are the “pranks” and “games” that emerged in large urban areas such as Manhattan. In one instance, someone will be punched in the back of the head in an attempt to knock them unconscious, and this is called a game. As it went viral, others began to “play,” and in some instances, choosing the wrong mark, leading to their “game” turned on them, only to have them start whining that “it’s just a game” and trying to press charges against the person they tried to assault. Others, with just a modicum of common sense, choose “pranks” in the form of masks designed to frighten and (mostly) fake weapons. They then hide in an area and wait, ultimately charging at or chasing someone. While most of the marks just run, some fight back, either hand to hand, with pepper spray or stun guns, while others who are licensed, have detained the “pranksters” at gunpoint until the police arrive. In virtually every instance of this happening, they instantly can be heard yelling “it’s just a prank” and clinging to that defense like it’s a get out of jail free card.
In the end, their arrogance is used as a defense, with some only given a slap on the wrist, because they “don’t know any better,” although if the roles were reversed they’d do the same thing and defend themselves. As this arrogance seeps through society, we also see truly horrifying extensions of this, with examples of “affluenza” actually being cited in court, and working! The most well-known of this is Ethan Couch of Burleson, TX, who while driving under the influence at only 16, caused an accident that took multiple lives. He was, however, only sentenced to 10 years probation, then later found in Mexico, having fled the country. This incident isn’t the only one though, as in California saw the Brock Turner case, where a promising college swimmer sexually assaulted an unconscious woman, but only served 3 months in jail, while in 1969, Senator Edward Kennedy drove his car into a pond, leaving Mary Jo Kopechne to die in the water. While Couch and Turner were sentence, Kennedy never served a day, and was able to retain his seat in the U.S. Senate, despite being responsible for another person’s death.
The attitude that “they don’t know better” because they were raised never having to say they were sorry, well, it’s an excuse that has been used time and time again for all manners of infraction. Kennedy and Couch took lives, Turner is guilty of sexual assault, and nothing was done to them, or nothing near what should have been done. In these cases, and this is one of very few examples, were the assailant/driver not white, or not extremely wealthy, no one can honestly say that the sentence would have been the same. Sadly, it’s true that someone from a middle class family, white or not, would have had the book thrown at them, because they know right from wrong, so the question is how do we stop the trend. The simple answer is to not give special treatment to those with “affluenza,” but there is little chance of that happening. Another idea would be forced counseling with confinement in a rehabilitation center, as in virtually every case of this happening, drugs and alcohol are involved. Perhaps if Mr. Couch had lost his freedom for a year, where he was not only forced to dry out and sober up, but also learn about why he can’t do anything he wants, if and when he’s a father, his wealthy children won’t end up like him, but that is almost just a pipe dream today.
The root for all of these issues is the same, selfishness and upbringing. The very people demanding tolerance are the most intolerant of all, because for years they’ve been told they’re special, they’re right, they should be in charge, and now they’re entering the adult world. There have been cynical posts about when telling someone no will become a crime, or when simply breathing in their presence will lead to them killing someone, but those aren’t really too far-fetched when it comes to possibilities. With women decrying “rape culture” where some even contend that “reverse rape,” or not having sex with them when they want to, is possible, is it any wonder that the world is seeing more and more attacks, poverty and worse? Until those demanding special treatment are forced to accept the very treatment that they have a right to, and nothing more, the cries about patriarchy, sexism, racism and more will continue.
Another side of the issue is the push for acceptance, or to end “shaming,” in any form they say it exists in. Young girls are wearing clothing that few would have worn in private only 30 years ago, yet it should be accepted as a form of expression. Few would agree that the victim of a crime is the reason for said crime, but in a world where girls are taught, daily, that “all men want to rape you,” why would the same people push for allowing them to wear what amounts to lingerie? Others call for “fat acceptance,” decrying Doctors for “shaming them” when it’s pointed out a woman who stands only five foot six inches tall shouldn’t weigh over 300 pounds, as that could easily lead to heart failure. While there are examples of women who are large being healthy and attractive, those screaming for acceptance are those who want to walk around in little to nothing, or who want the “right” to not be “shamed” for being morbidly obese.
Thus is born the idea of privilege, or more simply that “I’m just as good as you, but you got the job/guy/raise/etc. because you’re thin, or male, or what have you.” This argument would see the requirements that you prove you can lift sixty pounds from the ground to a shelf over your head, as that’s “health privilege” and just “shames those who aren’t the same kind of healthy.” The confirmation hearings for Neil Gorsuch show another side to this as well. A law student came forward, accusing the Judge of sexism as he put forth an example where a company might ask female applicants if they have plans to get pregnant, and if so, when. To this student, the Judge was suggesting companies have a right to discriminate, while he was pointing out that women would get a job, then once insured, get pregnant, have the child and take maternity leave, then quit, so as to use the system. Others argued against the student, suggesting simply that knowing if an applicant has plans to have a child helps with staffing plans, scheduling, training, and so on, and were all accused of being just as sexist as the Judge. So far, the only argument that is being left alone is the one where the same company asks all applicants if they have plans where they will need significant time off in the next eighteen to twenty four months for any reason. Some tried to say this was “hiding sexism” until it was suggested a man may be going in for surgery and need a month or more off to recover, at which point the debate simply went quiet, as it became obvious that the other side wasn’t willing to accept that they weren’t right.
At this point, there is now almost an entire generation entering the adult world who have been taught for almost two decades that they have “rights” that others don’t, that they shouldn’t be “shamed” into anything, and that anyone who opposes them is just trying to keep them down. The world will soon see how they fair in the work force, those that enter it at least, as many have degrees that did not exist only 15 years ago, and which offer no qualification to work in the modern world, other than as a teacher for that very degree. There is a chance, however minimal, that when confronted with a company not accepting taking time off whenever they want, with or without explanation, and without adequate notice, or a company that doesn’t tolerate claims of racism or sexism that are nothing more than crying wolf, they may grow up, but that’s a long shot.
Sadly, the more likely outcome is that companies will be driven out of business, or will at least be forced to pay due to suits, when these new adults aren’t given the corner office on day one, or aren’t allowed 2 hours, paid, for lunch, because they need to “center themselves to handle the stress of doing their job.” There is some hope, as more and more companies are adopting a new hiring style, wherein the application is all online, and clearly states that stating race, gender, religion, or attaching a photo will be grounds for immediate disqualification from the job. The first interview is completely automated, the next via phone but with a person, and only step four actually has face to face interaction. It will be deemed discriminatory, but a system where the company goes out of their way to not know race, gender or see you really shoots that down. These companies have a chance to survive, but for how long is unclear, as some in this new crop will enter public office, and while there will always be two sides of the aisle in Congress, which side has more people will determine the direction the country takes.
Where you come in is simple, stop standing by and watching, only voting every few years. Get involved with young people, even if it’s just to help them find a way to play in the park safely. You’ll be able to help them realize that just because they want to swing, doesn’t mean the others on the swing have to stop. Or that just because they want to play with the puppy does not give them the right to enter a stranger’s yard. Volunteer at the library to tutor, or with a local group to teach a skill. Not everyone needs to go to college, programmers, engineers, attorneys, teachers, sure, but we need mechanics, welders, ranchers, and more, few to none of which are college programs. A young person could easily hire on with an auto garage, learning as they go, gaining certifications, and ultimately own their own garage while still fairly young, making really good money, and having no student loans. This isn’t to say we should discourage students from higher education, but why encourage it, if you see the path they want doesn’t need it. Simply put, young people today need to be told no once in a while, helped to understand why they were told no, and educated as to what they can do, when told no, that doesn’t involve the equivalent of a toddler’s tantrum. Only time will tell if it was too late for any of this to work.