So a few years back, heading into 2020, my boys and I were talking about this and that and why it looked as if the West, if not already dead, was in historical hospice. I began a long tirade on all the things I remember growing up and how things changed. It was mostly for humor and for laughs, but to make a point.
It wasn't a doctoral thesis, and it was not meant to be a comprehensive examination of the way the world really was working at any given time. Instead, it was the things I remembered, things that made the headlines that adults, or later I, talked about. It was, to paraphrase Peggy Noonan, the cultural ocean in which I was swimming.
It was a list of things that were assumptions, and new or accepted narratives; things that were the topic of debate on news casts or interviews with Dick Cavett. They were what music addressed or what teachers talked about or what professors pounded the desk over when preaching to the captive audience. It was the 60 Minutes special or what Tip O'Neal was lamenting on Phil Donahue. In short this was a list of those things that caught my ears, eyes and mind because they were big landmarks, road signs if you would, what everyone was talking about, that caught my attention and, in hindsight, were pointing us to where we got.
After our talk, I jotted down the things I remembered saying, with reduced quips to account for my thoughts on each of these social developments that happened during my fifty years on this sod. I then promptly forgot about it, as I had written it out at the bottom of a document I saved and then moved to some folder somewhere.
Well, I opened that folder today just to check on something and, voila!, there was the list. Given that most now are admitting that the war is over and the Christian West, and United States, have lost, I notice many trying to piece together just what went wrong. I'm not saying my list comes from stone tablets or Delphi, but it does make me think as I go over these big changesand developments as I remember them. Enjoy.
(BTW, I marked some with asterisks at the time and don't know why, but my guess is, looking at them, they're ones I think were particularly devastating to the preservation of the Democratic and Christian values of my childhood).
A new Decade: Father Knows Best and a last grasp at the fading heritage of the Christian West
Cultural Revolution: Refabricating American morality down to the foundations
Feminist movement: beyond equal rights, toxic feminism rises – burn those bras!
[Christian] Religion out of Schools: Christian roots eradicated officially, Thanks SCOTUS
*Multicultural Education begins: Demonizing the West, Deifying the non-West
Sexual Revolution: Rules for sex you say? Just rip off the clothes, get high and laid, what could go wrong?
Civil Rights legislation: Righting old wrongs, not a universal application; Replacing N-word with WASP
Counter Culture Hippies: the new kindness with love and peace and flowers in our hair
Manson, Altamont and Kent State (‘74): The hippie era crashes and burns
Live and let live: who can say what is normal?
Gay is OK: speaking of normal, if someone wants to be gay, let them
*Roe v. Wade: The Nazis were right – human life is subjective, Thanks SCOTUS
Watergate: End to faith in American politics, also a new political trick for losers
Roots (Miniseries): America and Slavery are one
The Holocaust (Miniseries): The West and Racism are one
Norman Lear and the TV Revolution: Father knows nothing, liberalism is everything
Liberation Theologies ascendant: God’s principles depend on who you are and who you can blame
The Battle for the Bible: The last gasp of that old time religion
*New Math and New Education: It’s been working for decades, let’s change everything!
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (Book): America and Genocide are one
*American ‘Genocide Beneficiaries’: Freedom, liberty and democracy? No, racism, genocide, and slavery
Carter and the Iran Hostages: A weakening America
Carter and the Economic Collapse: Sadly, America’s best days are in the past
Economic doldrums: It’s hurting others and that means it’s hurting me
Pope John Paul II: Reining in Vatican II, Calling out evil of the 20th Century Secularism
Margaret Thatcher: Stand up to Communism
The New Ice Age: It’s getting colder, we’re all going to die!
*Disco Ducks: Sex, porn, drugs: Grab all the T&A you want boys and girls! It’s everywhere!
It is Space Invaders!: A new form of entertainment
Rehabilitate, Rehabilitate, Rehabilitate: After all, there aren’t criminals, just victims of an evil society
Solidarity and Soviet invasions: The Iron Curtain begins to tear
MAGA and Reagan: Best days are yet to come
*Values based education: Affirm a child’s self-affirming self-affirmation of self-affirming self
The Moral Majority: pre-Communist America’s last, vain gasp
The Day After (television movie):Wasn’t Reagan supposed to nuke the world?
VCRs: Now we can see what Mom and Dad were watching! Over and over and over again
NOW and the radical feminists: Lose in Washington, but let’s rethink this rehabilitate thing for rape
Remember the Victims: Maybe saying ‘Jesus’ out loud might trigger a victim of the West’s evils
MTV: bring the T&A into every living room and reach the youngest of these
AIDS: A minor misstep in the Sexual Revolution (36 million dead = minor misstep) , but choosing gay?
Economic recovery: Let’s not forget those who are left behind
Put an end to WASP America: America has no right to have a common (WASP) culture
Pluralism, diversity and tolerance: The holy trinity of liberal values
Born this way: Apparently being gay is something you're born with, but this time it's great
Moral Relativism ascendant: It’s not right or wrong, it’s opinion (except where liberalism says so)
The Great White Guilt: Without the White West there would be no problems in the world
Beginning of Wage Stagnation: Many reasons, but the Post War dream is beginning to wane
Geneva and Gorbachev: Reagan and Gorbachev bring hope that it might end peacefully
Women going into workplace at record levels: But who is home with the kids?
*Latchkey Kids: Apparently nobody is home with the kids
Christmastime and Wintertime: Isn’t Christianity and the Holocaust a thing? Maybe we’ll do winter instead
Born this way and Gay Marriage: Gay is like being black, and blacks can marry can’t they?
Berlin Wall Falls: Against all hope
Debate over Daycare – kids raised by preschool?: Yes there actually was a debate about its effectiveness
Cold War ends: Now what? – a generation lost in space
The Clinton Era: A minority vote and a shiftless president
Rush Limbaugh: Escaping a homogenous media culture’s grasp: what happened to diversity and pluralism?
Out of the Closet: To oppose homosexuality is some phobic racist Nazi thing, right?
Post-Competition and Failure in schools: Isn’t giving an ‘F’ sort of mean and not affirming Suzie?
The Tech boom and Microsoft: A computer on every coffee table, there to think for you
BC/BCE: Hmmm, maybe ‘Before Christ’ could trigger someone, let’s just act like it never happened
Political Correctness: A new spin on an old idea – how dare you insult liberal ideals!
Internet: Look what we can find! Woohoo!
The Religious Right: To lead, and later to follow, the World for Christ
The Religious Left: Really. Who cares?
Sexual predators: Rehabilitate? Are you crazy? This could be the unforgivable sin!
Post-Nationalism: Weren’t nations a drag, maybe we just need a single world order
Global Warming: It’s getting hotter, we’re all going to die!
American Exceptionalism repacked: America was always exceptional, exceptionally evil that is!
Oklahoma City and Matthew Shepherd: Fear the Right and Fear the Conservative – it’s all their fault
Hate Crimes: It’s not raping a woman that matters, it’s why you raped which woman that matters
9/11 Attacks: What Japan had hoped Pearl Harbor would be
The Catholic Church’s darkest hour: Not just abuse, but abuse of precious children systemically covered up
The Catholic Church’s darkest hour: What? Mostly homosexual encounters? Not sure that matters
War on Terrorism and Iraq: An ill-fought war orchestrated by empty suits and post-principled leaders
The Bush Era: The end of the Conservative Coalition
High Speed Internet: Look what we can find … again, and again, and again!
Open Doors for Illegal Immigration: Apparently America’s poor suddenly don’t exist
Social Media: For all those without the courage to be bullies face to face
Global Climate Change: Well, everything that happens with the weather proves we’re all going to die!
Apple and the Smart Phones: All those fun Internet things – in the palm of your other hand
The Great Recession: Have our priorities gone the wrong direction? Nah!
Barrack Obama: Time to put America’s racist past behind us? Not so fast …
Governing by Phone and Pen: Only racists worry about the racist Constitution anyway
An Anemic Economic Recovery: At least I’m doing OK, so what’s the problem?
An Anemic Economic Recovery: Sure some are falling through the cracks … that’s the price we have to pay
STEM reborn: Only STEM can save us now
Gay Marriage Legal: Turns out we will be punished for opposing gay marriage, Thanks SCOTUS
Pope Benedict Out/Pope Francis In: Vicar of Christ for Hire: Let’s get a Liberation Theologian
The Obama Doctrine: We’re sorry America existed – growing numbers in the world approve this message
Post-Gender: Boys and Girls exist? The very thought should be punishable
Digital Revolutions: Who needs real people when I have my apps?
Racial tensions reborn: Turns out racism is the sin Jesus can’t forgive, and Obama’s presidency proves it!
Post-Confederacy: The South was America’s Nazi Party – the taint is all consuming
Post-Constitution: Who needs it when it was a slave document by genocidal racist white guys?
Ferguson: You have killed our dozens, but we have killed our tens of thousands … you’re the problem!
Suicides, depression, drugs spiking: Nah, we couldn’t have done anything wrong as a society
Donald Trump: The Left’s gloves come off and we see the brass knuckles
The post-News Media: Must we even pretend to be objective anymore?
Back to Global Warming (mostly): This is it, we must save the wealthy from some future disaster!
The Francis Doctrine: We must realize traditional Christians are the problem and economics is the answer
The Cis White Male: Take Nazi speeches, scratch out ‘Jew’, replace with ‘White’ (or cis, or male)
White Evangelicals: Take Nazi speeches, scratch out ‘Jew’, replace with ‘White Evangelical’
#MeToo: Isn’t guilt based largely on who you are and who is accusing you?
#MeToo2: Who told you to grab all the T&A you wanted (men only)? That’s rape!
Hate Speech is not Free Speech: Remember I’m awesome, I’m sure it will only be them who are censored
Whoever said Pluralism, diversity and tolerance?: Certainly not liberals, apparently ever, so say millennials