Maybe I’m getting too old. Maybe I’m too set in my ways at this point to change my outlook on life. Professionally I’m used to the things that might shock the conscience, and part of the appeal of working in law enforcement is the variety we encounter on a shift in uniform. Outliers are not uncommon, even in suburbia. But, when I step back and take a long view of our world I have a hard time recognizing it.
The world of my childhood was pretty simple. I lived in a very blue collar, rural area that didn’t change much with the world. Kids went to school and played outside while parents worked hard and provided what they could for their children. We were taught to respect the property and person of others, no matter how different, just because it was the decent country way of doing things.
The 1980’s weren’t without problems. The Cold War was a very real thing, and since I went to a school that still had a nuclear fallout shelter, we had to practice our retreat into it periodically. It didn’t take long to figure out that the sole reason for the drill was because humans can be cruel and brutal. Realizing that someone, somewhere could press a button and wipe you out while you’re in elementary school is a tough pill to swallow.
There was a teenage counter-culture in the 1980’s, even in my small rural America home. I can remember seeing the brightly-colored Mohawk-having spikey-leather clad types, the Cyndi Lauper wannabes, the Boy George wannabes, and the other varieties oddball teen groups that sprout up in every generation to express angst and rebellion to societal norms.
With a major university not far away, we encountered people of all races, colors, creeds, and sexuality. I can vividly remember my parents telling me not to make fun of them or point because they were people, people who had feelings.
They had value too, just like anyone else. It didn’t mean that I would ever be allowed to dress like them or act like them-but my parents ensured that they were respected by me, at least as a person. They do their things, we do ours. It’s ok.
Those early life interactions colored my view of the world. There many different kinds of people, but they’re people. I’ll respect you as a person until you give me cause to no longer do so. As a father, I’m teaching the sugar donuts the same.
The difference between my childhood and the childhood of the sugar donuts is that the world is much smaller now. The threat to them while they are at school isn’t from a button-pressing Ruski a world away, but from a trigger-pulling degenerate that may live next door.
They’re also faced with a world where “up” is not necessarily “up” to everyone, so we now refer to “up” as something less offensive, or create signs in multiple languages to be all-inclusive to indicate an upward direction lest we offend the delicate sensibilities of the those who refer to “up” as “down”.
In our world, if a large group of snow skiers banded together and protested the lack of snow in the area during the summer months, we would all be expected to purchase snow-colored ribbon stickers and magnets to place on our cars to show support. If you don’t support the poor, displaced snow skiers who are stuck in an area that doesn’t have snow all year, you’ll be labeled an environmental bigot who is insensitive to the plight of the snowless.
It doesn’t matter if you personally do not like snow and rather enjoy the warmth of summer months. You may even prefer water skiing. If you mention your own opinion in any fashion, anyone who does not agree with you will now be socially entitled to screaming at you and shaming you in a very public manner. If you don’t support the movement for year-round snow because 0.13% of the population wants it, you are a horrible person.
It doesn’t matter if nature intends for snow to melt in the spring air. The poor displaced skiers are entitled to a change in their favor, in spite of what the other 99.87% of the population may want or need.
Downhill slalom skiers eventually gain a couple of year-round snow covered hills with man made snow after a ground roots campaign of shaming those who don’t agree to step in line.
But what about cross country skiers? Two slopes is simply not enough for them. We can’t have the cross country skiers upset, something has to change. We better cover the entire park with snow for the whole year, they just can’t be left out! Kids can play baseball somewhere else.
There’s no freedom of speech if one side shouts the other down and resorts to shameful and sometimes violent acts. There’s no freedom of expression or association. We no longer live in a country that respects the rights of all, it is now eccentric, militant, and unrecognizable from anything we have had before.
Gone are the days where hard work, courage, and determination are the hallmarks of the American way. It can be found in pockets, but it isn’t celebrated nationwide. Now that is reserved for former Olympians turned-reality stars who decided to wear makeup and skirts. Courageous, hero, “man” of the year my ass.
My generation remembers the USSR and the Berlin Wall, but apparently not all remember it so well. As a nation we fought against the spread of ruthless socialist ideology for nearly 50 years to protect individual freedoms and democratic beliefs. Thousands paid the ultimate price in order for us to remain free.
Now we have turned our backs on that fight and are actually entertaining the idea of electing an open socialist to our highest office to replace the closeted one currently there. I can only imagine the seismic activity near the Arlington National Cemetery as those thousands of courageous, actual American heroes roll over in the grave.
I sometimes wonder if this will end before our moral fabric reaches the point where it can no longer stretch. Up is up no matter where you are, no matter how loudly someone says it’s not.
In spite of what may be politically correct, I will continue to raise my daughters to be ladies and my son to be a man. The kind of people who can be tolerant of others without compromising their own beliefs. Hard work, courage, and determination to do the right thing at the right time, for the right reasons.
Speaking of hard work, it’s time to go patrol the Donut…