We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As for the social reality underlying this general feeling of decline, a number of conservative commentators, concentrating especially on the areas of crime, welfare dependency, and illegitimacy, undertook the task of quantifying and analyzing the available evidence. The most notable such effort was by William J. Bennett, who in March 1993 released a report entitled The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators.
Over the course of the preceding three decades, Bennett wrote, the United States had indeed experienced “substantial social regression.” About this, the data were unequivocal. Since 1960, there had been a more than 500-percent increase in violent crime; a more than 400-percent increase in out-of-wedlock births; almost a tripling in the percentage of children on welfare; a tripling of the teenage suicide rate; a doubling of the divorce rate; and a decline of more than 70 points in SAT scores. To Bennett, the conclusion was inescapable: “the forces of social decomposition [in America] are challenging—and in some instances overtaking—the forces of social composition.”
Just when cultural decay seemed hopeless, these things began to change. They conclude:
Culture itself, finally, exhibits an ebb and flow as surely as economies pass through cycles of ups and downs. In The Great Disruption (1999), Francis Fukuyama cited historical examples of societies undergoing periods of moral decline followed by periods of moral recovery. In our case, too, he argued, the aftermath of the cultural breakdown of the 1960’s had already triggered and was now giving way to a reassessment and recovery of social and moral norms. Such “re-norming” will not occur in every social class all at once; in some instances it may take hold in one stratum but not in another. That is partial progress, but progress nevertheless.
Despite persistent anomalies and backslidings, some species of cultural re-norming certainly seems to have been occurring in this country over the past decade-and-a-half, and it is fascinating to observe in whose hearts its effects have registered most strongly. In attitudes toward education, drugs, abortion, religion, marriage, and divorce, the current generation of teenagers and young adults appears in many respects to be more culturally conservative than its immediate predecessors. To any who may have written off American society as incorrigibly corrupt and adrift, these young people offer a powerful reminder of the boundless inner resources still at our disposal, and of our constantly surprising national resilience.
Have to agree. We creatures of nature are more like nature than we think - the ebb and flow, the cycles, the chaos - match the various lunacies our cultures go through. After all settles down, there is the chance for a revisionist movement that is more rational and uplifting than before. I think it's instinctual.
I don't know anyone who admits that abortion is the right thing for babies.
When faced with the question: "Does not the egg and sperm unified signal the beginning of a baby?" Followed up with "So who the hell thinks killing the baby inside of a woman is anything besides murder?"
It is fun to watch the reluctant 'yes' to the second question. Challenging people to think is easy, to admit they might have bought into murderous brainwashing is tougher.
i do know that back in the 70s and 80s people didn't seem to think too much about the issue. The pro-life movement has worked a small miracle in getting through to people that there is another dimension to the issue. Many folks had abortions or went along with 'em then, but would not, or do not, do so anymore, now that their consciousness has been raised. Count me in that group.