Wednesday, November 9, 2016
The Politics of Rejection: What are Modern Liberals All About?
The easier question may be: what are modern liberals against? Almost everything of any value to humanity, it seems. White people are bad and should feel guilty about things that they had nothing to do with. The free market is bad because it excludes certain groups. (Nobody has any idea who, except perhaps people too lazy to work for a living) Even work itself is bad, it seems. Western Civilization, which has undoubtedly contributed more to human civilization itself is viewed by liberals as "oppressive." I could go on with this almost forever. But what is it that drives the politics of resentment?
This is a topic that I have studied long and hard and here's what I've come up with. The problem (and it is a problem, probably the most profound problem that faces America, if not the world) began in earnest in the 1960's. At least that's when we began to see the effects. The Baby Boom Generation, as people born in the late 40's are called, grew up in a new environment- one not experienced any time in history. Our parents had lived through the depression and were determined to see that we were not subjected to the depravations that they had endured. On the surface it would seem to be beneficial, but, adversity builds character and we grew up with none. We were spoiled. This is not to say that it's true of everyone, but in general it seems to be the case.
Fueled by the economic boom of the Eisenhower years we had it all, so to speak. Dr. Spock, had taught our parents new techniques, devoid of the spankings that had permeated their childhood. Once again, not all children were exempt, just in general. It does seem that the children who were subjected to the horrors of corporal punishment tended to be more responsible citizens in adulthood. Those who were not became the Vietnam War protesters of the 70's.
We were also the first generation to witness the proliferation of television sets where we watched in awe children who had perfect parents (who, more often than not, gave them everything they wanted) while we had to endure imperfect individuals who struggled to live up to our ever increasing demand for attention, worldly goods and whatever whim or fad we came up with. I believe that television is responsible for creating the utopian fantasy that fueled the discontent of the 60's. When our families were unable to meet our impossible demands, we resented them and rejected their values. They didn't understand us... how could they, they had character based on hard work and deprivation. We had demands based on an unrealistic worldview created by the utopian childhoods lived by fictitious characters on TV. How could our parents possibly measure up to this? Moreover, to make matters worse, we carried those unrealistic expectations into adulthood.
In the 1960's we began to see a profound division in our national character. Most of us who grew up adhering to our parents values, enlisted to fight in Vietnam. Those too poor to afford college and the deferments that went with along with it got drafted. Those who were spoiled and self-indulgent became protesters, not because they opposed the war itself- but because they viewed themselves as too valuable to society to risk their own lives. Their objection to the war was predicated more on the writings of Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky (both proponents of violence) than any deep-seated moral objections. The Communists of North Vietnam were viewed as the "good guys" and our own soldiers were often portrayed as evil, psychopathic baby killers. We were often spat on in airports when returning from the war. The disintegration (and depredation) of American culture had begun in earnest.
The politics of rejection didn't end with Vietnam, it gained momentum. As time went on, the culture of protest grew up and became politically active. Many have been elected to office as Democrats- one might reasonably argue that they have usurped the Democratic Party. If you look at the political division in this country, on the one hand there are Democrats who depend on causing discontent among their voter base...minorities, women (although certainly not all) gays and a plethora of malcontents who all believe they have an ax to grind against "the Establishment." Whoever that is- it seems to be average Americans. And the liberals have now become parents who attempt wholeheartedly to sow the seeds of discontent in their children.
These unfortunates are the product of an education system incapable of teaching critical thought. Those fortunate enough to go to college are further radicalized by liberal professors who themselves are incapable of educating. After four or five years of Black Studies, Women's Studies, they emerge unable to find meaningful employment, disappointed that Lesbian Dance Theory and other equally nonsensical courses failed to prepare them for the competition of the job market. Having more often than not amassed enormous debt and no marketable skills, the resentment that drove their parents now fuels their discontent. Unfortunately, having accrued no critical thinking skills, their anger is misdirected toward the establishment rather than those that cheated them of their future.
The politics of rejection/resentment has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Election of 2016, for better or worse, is a resounding condemnation of liberal ideals. Where we go from here is anybody's guess. One thing is clear, at least to me, our grand-parents may have been right. Adversity builds character- and in the end...Character Counts!