Linda Turley-Hansen: Something went missing, over years past: Social norms struck down through massive shifts, some by courts, others meandered off through neglect.Thus, we find today, we’ve lost the keys to fix ourselves; lost the formula for priceless independence ingrained in those who settled this country.
Something went missing, over years past: Social norms struck down through massive shifts, some by courts, others meandered off through neglect.
Thus, we find today, we’ve lost the keys to fix ourselves; lost the formula for priceless independence ingrained in those who settled this country; sealed by their blood and sacrifices; who built roads and tracks, used barter to acquire, and raised families through personal toil energized with pride.
Strange isn’t it — after all that was laid down for us, we’ve become a nation of the helpless, looking for someone to fix our problems and make life even easier?
In this economic downturn, our comfort has become our enemy. We no longer know how to define poverty or luxury. We crave and we don’t give a thought as to why. We just do.
We frantically call for rescue, impatient to keep living lives as usual. We’re at great risk of turning our freedoms over to, at the least, ill-advised saviors.
Entitlement remains a driving force in place of ingenuity fed through dignity. We’ve become segmented into special interests; flaking away from the whole. Some of us are fleeing from the new norms, forming small enclaves; others demand comfort, pirated from what their neighbors have earned. Many are determined to make America serve individual needs.
Can we reach back and regather what is lost? Steve Malanga, in the Institute’s City Journal, www.city-journal.org, uses 200-year-old reviews on America to identify the missing parts.
He takes from Alexis de Tocqueville, a French social thinker who was intrigued by our fledgling country, just 24 states big, in the early 19th century. Tocqueville wrote the “genius of America” was its pursuit of “productive industry without a descent into lethal materialism.”
Tocqueville credited a “common set of civic virtues” that embraced “thrift, integrity, self-reliance and modesty” — all of which grew out of the “pervasiveness of religion.” Morality and the free market complemented each other, he said.
Malanga quotes still another observer. Many decades later, sociologist Max Weber called those qualities the “Protestant ethic” — a “cornerstone of successful capitalism.” He saw that “the ethic undergirded and promoted America’s economic success.”
But today, such valuable keystones have been stripped from our systems. We debate the value of religion in public life, and indeed, separation of the two in certain venues makes sense. but common sense must apply, too.
Just how does one separate man from himself? Clearly when that occurs, it opens doors wide to those who would enslave him as he yearns to be saved.
So now we look to Big Brother for a fix, a brother with no conscience, propelled by corruption. And, we move deeper into the abyss as our president prepares to further embrace the United Nations, a documented crooked organization.
A respected uncle asked me last week: “How do we fix this, Linda?” We mused over the options. To me, it’s clear and it’s become my mantra: It begins with “I.” Each individual returns to the ethics of bygone days, and embraces only those leaders who do the same. Many Americans support this truth, but are there enough of us?
Instincts tell me we cannot recover what is lost. Permissiveness has passed the no-return point and even intellectuals believe we will be saved by influences outside ourselves. They care not that such a road requires the immoral extraction of resources from struggling U.S. taxpayers to feed national and world appetites.
Clear evidence of our demise is that integrity, industriousness and selflessness are not required to earn handouts from the government, encouraging the growing absence of ethics in our national community. Unbelievably, there are those who call such idiocy “humane.”
All that is left will be rearranged by evil, unopposed in the absence of man’s personal responsibility.