July 25, 2001
Perhaps it's the mid-summer doldrums? Perhaps it's the never-ending news that yet another member of Congress has turned out to be engaged in behavior that an elected leader of this nation should not? Perhaps it's that his colleagues don't think that behavior is sufficient cause to turn him out of office? Afterall, they say, "it's only sex." Anyone with a shred of moral sense knows it's not just that. It's about the man's character and fitness to hold office.
In the end, we choose our friends and avoid others based on our judgement of their character. Some choose to home school their children because they fear what their children will be taught in public schools. Some even move to get away from places that do not nurture or demonstrate good character. They make sacrifices, take extra jobs.
I have such a friend who's moving his entire family from a university town in Missouri to someplace with a very small population that shares his religious and moral values. These are the places in the many counties that helped elect George W. Bush. They are not those clustered along the East and West Coasts of the nation. They are "middle America" and proud of it.
My friend looked around his hometown and saw evidence of moral decay everywhere from "the politically-correct churches" that equated socialism with Christian charity to the "Mall" culture where teenaged girls dressed like the sexually provocative Brittany Spears wannabes and boys dressed like castoffs from some inner-city ghetto. There are a lot of places like this in America. They are small towns that never had to cope with a "gang problem" before or whose parents worry about people waiting around to sell their children drugs as they leave school for the day. These are big city problems that have become small town problems.
In America and in our daily lives, everything comes down to character and morality. Where neither counts for much, people begin to notice the outward signs. And they leave if they can. Those middle-Americans are mocked by the East and West Coaster's jammed into their own cities and suburbs. They're derisively called "Bible-Belters", "Fundamentalists", "Far Right-Wingers", and, yes, "Conservatives." Convenient names for people who are very worried about their nation.
Now, we hear that the Democrats have held a meeting to re-fashion the "image" of their party and reach out to people who own guns, people who go to church regularly, people who are opposed to abortion, people who want the US to get out of the UN. If even the Democrats see this as a problem in getting their candidates elected, then these must be a growing priority among people.
I think these priorities will continue to rise to the surface as the economy continues its decline. The boom years of the 1990's, so much a product of the Reagan years of the 1980's, have come full circle to yet another Bush in the Oval Office.
There are many signals that the United States, founded by men who repeatedly expressed a firm belief in character and morality as the measure of leadership, is on a slippery slope to becoming a superpower Sodom.
It shows up in the pressure on the Boy Scouts of America to accept homosexuality. The nation is a sinkhole of desire for illegal drugs. It has state-sponsored lotteries whose revenues never seem to be enough to cover the growing list of new government programs that clamor for funding. The nation is struggling to assimilate ten million new citizens within a decade's time--many of them here illegally. Then there is the abortion issue that takes the lives of countless unborn children.
There's an entire "entertainment" industry that is turning out films that fail at the box office as word immediately spreads of their content or lack of it. There's the continuing decline of daily newspaper circulation as more Americans come to believe they are mere instruments of propaganda, not the instrument for the straightforward reporting of news. There's the continuing decline in the confidence or acceptability of the content of network and cable television news and its entertainment component. Advertising revenue is down as people turn away from the decadence presented as entertainment or news.
In California, that State's failure to respond to the energy needs of its growing population has savaged its economy in the name of the "environment." Florida is too fearful to permit vast reservoirs of oil reserves to be tapped and others fight access to 16 billion barrels of oil in a tiny, barren area of Alaska. And America must remain utterly dependent on Middle Eastern oil; some of it pumped from the fields of Iraq. A leftist Castro-wannabe now leads another major producer, Venezuela. All this is happening as the headlines report an economy in decline.
Our schools are totally controlled by a faceless bureaucracy in Washington, DC. The result are fourth-graders who know nothing of the nation's history, nor are capable of competing with children in other nations; unable to master of the most fundamental skills necessary for an educated citizenry. Blame the schools, not the children.
There is, I hope, still time for America to reclaim its moral high ground. We are surrounded with enemies and they exist within as well. High-ranking agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency have sold their souls and their nation's security for thirty pieces of gold.
We are told and our children our taught that "more government" is the answer. "The government will take care of you. Just surrender your personal freedom. Just surrender your privacy. Just surrender the sovereign right of this nation to self-government. Capitalism and corporations are bad. Join us in the streets to create a worker's paradise."
If this is true, why aren't people clamoring to immigrate to China, to Cuba, to North Korea, to nations led by despots of every description? They're not. They are doing what people have always done. They are looking to flee oppressive governments. They dream of coming to America.
There are Americans, though, looking for someplace in this nation to flee the moral decay around them. It's a big country. It needs saving.
|Alan Caruba is the founder of The National
Anxiety Center and writes
"Warning Signs", a column of conservative comment.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Copyright © Alan Caruba
Permission to publish is granted.
Our Decaying Society
27 jul 2001