Four more years of decline — We’re no longer the country of ‘the Greatest Generation’
by Cal Thomas
Columnist
November 08, 2012 12:00 AM | 1013 views | 3 3 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cal Thomas
Cal Thomas
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Great nations and proud empires have always collapsed from within before they were conquered from without.

President Obama’s re-election mirrors the self-indulgent, greedy and envious nation we are rapidly becoming.

Pollsters Michael Barone and Dick Morris got it horribly wrong. Both predicted a 300 electoral-vote win for Romney. It was President Obama who reached that mark.

The central message coming out of the election seems to be that we are no longer the America of our Founders, or even the America that existed during World War II, which produced our “greatest generation.”

Instead, the election validates the enormous cultural shift that has been taking place since the ’60s when a countercultural bomb was dropped on society, producing moral fallout that continues to this day.

I am a child of the “greatest generation.” My parents believed I should learn to take care of myself. They would have been too embarrassed to ask for help, if they needed it. If they did, they would turn to family first, or to a friend or neighbor. There were fewer social programs then, so people mostly did without, living only on what they truly needed. It said something about your character if you refused to strive toward self-sufficiency.

In 2012, nothing appears to embarrass us. Snooki. Honey Boo Boo. Reality TV wives. Look at what is paraded before us as normal. Oppose the new normal and it’s you who are the anomaly.

Young people are taught in public schools, at major universities, on television and in movies, that every life choice is acceptable and every tenet open to interpretation. In politics, some proclaim it is right to oppose the successful and envy the rich to the point where they must be denigrated and penalized for their success with higher taxes. No one has to be personally responsible. No education; no motivation; no life plan? No problem. The government will take care of you.

One thing Romney might have done better is to have featured more people who had overcome government dependence by embracing the values he was promoting. Example trumps philosophy and success should trump victimhood. Inspiration follows perspiration. But in our “entitlement” age even that might have been impossible to overcome.

Other signs of cultural decay are accepted with little notice. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 percent of babies born in America are born to unmarried women. Shrug. Abortion clinics continue to operate. Yawn.

There is no longer any cultural corrective because we have abandoned the concept of objective truth. Nothing is right or wrong, because that suggests a standard by which right and wrong might be defined. Personal choice is the new “standard,” which is no standard at all. One might as well develop individual weights and measures.

Politicians bid for votes, making promises they can’t keep to voters who will believe anything, as long as it appeals to greed, envy and their sense of entitlement. This undermines our culture. This fuels our massive debt, weakening our economic power and America’s standing in the world.

Standards used to be defined and mostly accepted, if not always universally practiced. Many grew out of religious principles. According to a recent Pew Poll, a growing number of people, especially young people, no longer believe in God or religion. In this, and in our increasing flirtation with socialism, America is becoming more like Europe. Government seems to be replacing God as the only acceptable “deity.”

So what is the answer? Should conservatives throw in the towel and say America, as passed down to us by previous generations, is no more? That was President Obama’s announced goal four years ago when he promised to “fundamentally transform America.” He’s doing it and sufficient numbers of us appear happy to let him. When they realize what they have done, however, it may well be too late to reverse course.

Cal Thomas is the country’s most widely syndicated columnist.

Comments
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otter357
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November 12, 2012
A horrible column.

Reading it and its arrogance and cruelty illustrates why we won't vote the same way as Cal Thomas. What Cal Thomas and his political similars can't see is that they're worshiping the good old days that never were.

I have good..kind of excellent work now, but i was on food stamps for 2.5 years. i should be ashamed? Why?

I'd have starved without them, and was often homeless. But i could eat. Cal Thomas thinks that's something I should be ashamed of. He thinks I should have starved as well as froze because i am not as virtuous as i should be...or something.

Maatf is right that the GI bill education thing catapulted this nation to a prosperous middle class. And he's also right that the nation doesn't invest in its people and infastructure like that anymore.

Most of today's republicans would rather chew off their own faces than raise up the poor and uneducated.

Romney has a bit in the video where he clearly envies the Foxconn way of using labor. It's so efficient, and it keeps costs so low! That's the proper use of the poor in his mind. I happen to know a little something about the life of a laborer in China, and the terrible pollution and health care these people have to cope with. I am writing from China right now. That's what Cal and Romney wanted for our vulnerable. They are cruel and wrongheaded people. They just don't want to be exposed to the misery their policies create, and so gated communities, security people and wealth keep them from any twinges of conscience.

Thank god Romney was defeated. Cal's party is never again going to win a national election again his lifetime. Demographics and math. Face it, delusional past worshipers.

The republican party of Dick Army, Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh just doesn't have enough hateful white colonialists left. And they've tried to keep everyone else down, women, colored people, poor people, and now these alienated just won't vote the way Cal thinks they should. No amount of image management is going to change this, but I hope the GOP keeps trying. In two more elections the GOP will lose its majority in the House or Senate. They wont recover it in Cal's lifetime, or even mine (I think I am younger than Cal)

Cal thinks his political opponents are "self indulgent, greedy and envious". Ha ha that's the funniest part of the whole column! I dare Cal to face a mirror and hold up this column to the mirror. Talk about greedy, envious and self indulgent! Tough luck Cal; there's always Fubu!
Maatf
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November 08, 2012
We grew as a nation and an economy when the government started giving education benefits to GI's returning from the war and when taxes were sky high compared to today. We grew because the government invested in creating opportunities for people and built a huge infrastructure that fed the economy and allowed the economy to expand.

We will grow again when we stop trying to bring back the "good 'ole days" that never were and take a look at who we areally are today. We are white, black, brown, red, and yellow. I doubt that there is a single country in the world who is not represented in the heritage of our citizens. We are male and female, although even that is subject to change, and we are gay and straight. We are evangelical christian, mainstream christian, middling nominal christian, hindu, buddhist, muslim, atheist and agnostic.

We need to embrace all that diversity. Us old folks will have a hard time with that, but my daughter won't. Start the process now so our children don't have to do the part of the job we should have done.
Too funny
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November 08, 2012
What a pessimistic load of garbage. Maybe "conservatives" as Cal defines them should accept that equal access to the pursuit of happiness for all is a good thing.
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