Two generations is all it takes

Posted: May 10, 2009 by datechguy in opinion/news
Tags: , ,

While writing about a totally different subject Robert Stacy McCain accidentally hit on something that is a major pet peeve of mine. Here is the excerpt:

It is no surprise, really, that the great scandals of American journalism — Stephen Glass in 1998 and Jayson Blair in 2003 — occurred about 30 years after Watergate, by which time the starry-eyed liberal do-gooders who entered the business in the 1970s had become editors and journalism professors.

That is the effect, Moe Lane documented the cause (also quoted by Mr. McCain).

Honestly, I think that everybody involved would be happier if we just established once and for all that the Watergate scandal was a disaster for the newspaper industry; it encouraged an entire generation of reporters to go out there and try to change American society, instead of simply documenting it.

It is the two generation theory. When a seminal cultural change takes place it takes two generations for that change to have it’s effect. One generation for the Children to be born who didn’t have that cultural norm and a second for them to be in a position to be teachers who didn’t have that cultural norm. Three years ago when I first became an official nazi to the left in a long letter on Glenn’s blog I commented on this concerning our culture:

Since the 60’s two unifying forces, for good or ill, were removed from the country: the removal of Judeo/Christian values as the semi-official moral code of the public schools) and the death of the draft/aka Vietnam. (actually ending in the 70’s). These two changes had one thing in common, it took two generations for them to have the following effect:

It is now unlikely that a student going to school today, had a teacher or parent who 1. Served in the military or 2. Was taught that moral code in school. To a whole generation now being born these are things that belong to outsiders. This makes the military and religious people outsiders and strange to one group and vice versa. Since the military draws predominantly from those two groups it will become more isolated from the rest of the public as time goes by.

This is not healthy for our country. What is worse is that one group has slowly vilified the military assuming them to be all dupes or thugs. A lot of this was political rhetoric but it has grown as a matter of faith.

Let me expand on this in terms of the social order. At the time before the Supreme Courts ruling on school prayer legitimacy rates were high in both the black and white community, drug addiction was not rampant sexual norms were pretty much the same they had been for years and the rates of STD, teen pregnancy et al were correspondingly low, teachers were in control of their schools and authority in general was respected.

When the rules changed on school prayer 5 years later the effects were minimal, all the teachers and all of the students above the 5th grade had been exposed to the old code of behavior and to a great extent lived it. Some started to experiment in the new relative morality but the existing value system was still in place.

Fast forward 20 years and things are now getting looser. The successful protests of Vietnam, the ruling of Roe v. Wade led to changes. Military service was questioned and the primacy of the woman’s convenience over the life of an unborn child was established (in reality it is the desire of the father to avoid responsibility that tended and still tends to be the driving factor). A generation of teachers who had been exposed to the old code but were no longer taught it existed. Some were of military families and christian tradition but that tradition was not to be exposed in schools and their very control of the classroom was subject to lawsuits. The rates of teen pregnancy, illegitimacy, divorce, drug use, std’s et al had all grown significantly, but standards existed. For example:

The idea that a teenage girl would send a naked picture of herself to her boyfriend was almost unthinkable.
The idea that a doctor should prescribe drugs to kill a patient was a violation of his most sacred oath.
The concept of “Gay Marriage” didn’t exist.

(Remember we are talking the 80’s here not ancient Rome).

Now come to today; two generations have passed and where are we?

Rates of teen pregnancy are very high to the point where schools now accommodate it as a norm.
“Sexting” has entered our culture.
The Black illegitimacy rate is incredible, as is the corresponding incarceration rate.
Drug use and abuse has reached the point where the battle for the vast profits threaten to overwhelm our southern neighbor; And even legal drugs are prescribed to a large extent to allow people to cope.
Thanks to our 42nd president many teenage girls (to the delight of teenage boys) believe oral sex isn’t sex. The idea that we teach children to avoid sex early is scoffed at. Abortion is an accepted norm. (all meaning more consequence free sex for boys and men!)
Several states not only have assisted suicide but are considering expansion of it.
Police officers at public schools is a necessary norm.
If you oppose “Gay Marriage” you are now considered a bigot by the mainstream media unless you are the president then the media give you a pass because they assume you’re a liar.

…this is called progress.

We have a huge cultural divide that dates from those splits from the 60 and early 70’s. We have a church going culture on one side and a secular one of the other. Our highly successful voluntary military is second to none, but comes largely from the religious cultural side. Politically we have divided in the same way. As a general rule the left will come from the secular side of the aisle and the right from the religious. There are exceptions which is why it is referred to as a general rule.

Nowhere is the divide more apparent than in the gay marriage issue. As Mr. McCain noted in another post today the AP is singing the praises of the 5th anniversary of Gay Marriage in Massachusetts.

What is significant is the fact that we are only 5 years into this vast cultural change which I maintain like abortion and euthanasia are exercises in narcissism. You can’t judge the cultural effects on such a change that fast. I’m turning 46 in a week but my father and uncles fought in World War II (of course compared to Harrison Tyler who’s uncle fought at Gettysburg I’m a piker) so perhaps I can see a generational cultural difference earlier than most, I’ve lived it. In 15 years I’ll be 61 and everyone will be able to see the effects before they harden into stone, then decisions will have to be made. Lets hope they are the right ones.

Update: Here comes that Alpha inventions link again bopping up my stats, I’d really like to find out if this is a bot or if it’s real. If you are a real person getting the link please click on this link about the new Si-Fi novel Escape from Hell.

I’ll be able to judge if this is a bot by the number of hits that link through.

  1. wordmoth says:


    FWIW: One additional point to consider is the ‘flow-on’ effect that such policies have internationally.

    Like it or not the USA is seen as the ‘standard of the world’ and what happens in America inevitably happens elsewhere, carried worldwide by TV, technology and US-citizens who ‘spread the faith’ of how good things are in their homeland.

    While it takes time, it inevitably happens and with technology (especially TV and YouTube) now so readily available micro-American cultures are flourishing world-wide.

    This in itself is not necessarily bad BUT because the locals (invariably teens) do not have the ‘savvy’ to be able to discern ‘good’ from ‘bad’ (and that is another area of discussion all together) the bad inevitably comes into the mix- aided and abetted by the ‘heroism’ that being bad (and virulently anti-social) now has.

    And this is a ‘heroism and anti-establishment behaviour that is exemplified most noticeably by the ‘gangsta’ rap culture which is now so entrenched in many cultures (courtesy of TV and YouTube – of course).

    And, because American things are reputedly inherently ‘good’ and ‘cool’ in teh opinion of many – especially the young and impressionable, then the ‘bad’ must also be good and cool – especially when it gives you so many marvellous material results (‘Bling’ is a word that exemplifies this to a tee).

    Inevitably the ‘bad’ proliferates as the copiers attempt to attain the unattainable and, like all weeds, grows unchecked until it in fact comes to challenge ordered local society – a challenge that is frequently aided and abettted by local (invariably left-wing) media who use it for their own purposes and agendas.

    And all this from a copying teh society regarded as being the ultimate embodiment of ‘western’ culture.

    As I said, a ‘flow-on effect’ – something you may not have considered. .

    Just a thought . . .

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