“Progressive” young people often dismiss anyone, anything, and everything that came before themselves as somehow unenlightened, inferior, and insufficiently inclusive and tolerant.
In contrast, conservatives, who naturally tend to be older, typically wish to conserve the best aspects of the past—and do not reflexively assume that anything newer must be better.
Since politics is downstream from culture, as the late, great Andrew Breitbart astutely noted, let’s compare various figures, achievements, attitudes, items, art forms, and institutions from a younger America to what we have today.
America: then vs. now:
In an earlier America, “muscle cars” abounded. Not just big, fast, and powerful, they were nearly indestructible. In the U.S. today, Prius hybrids abound, and electric vehicles are being forced upon us. Bump an object at 5 miles-an-hour and it will cost many thousands of dollars to repair the dainty automobile.
At roughly the same time as muscle cars rapidly traversed this hallowed ground from sea to shining sea, John Wayne and the Marlboro Man loomed large as pillars of manhood. Today we have the likes of Pete Buttigieg and “metrosexuals.” In days of yore, Grace Kelly and Sophia Loren were peerless examples of feminine mystique and pulchritude. Today? Madonna and Dylan Mulvaney.
What about music? Several decades ago, immensely talented bands like The Doors, The Rolling Stones, and Fleetwood Mac reigned. Today? Well, we have Weezer and Megan Thee Stallion. (And, admittedly, The Rolling Stones.)
Shall I go on? Okay.
Literature? Mark Twain vs. Stephen King. Journalism? Walter Cronkite vs. Rachel Maddow. Leading actors? Jimmy Stewart vs. Alec Baldwin. Movies? “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Casablanca” vs. “American Pie” and “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.” Network television? Shows like Gunsmoke, Mary Tyler Moore, The Waltons, and The Rockford Files-- as opposed to Two Broke Girls, The Real Housewives of (Whatever City), The Bachelorette, and The View. Have we been feminized much?
What about exploration and the last frontier? Well, we have Apollo 17 vs., um, oh wait…we haven’t been back to the moon since that mission was completed more than 50 years ago. Speaking of flying, compare the relative comfort and convenience of air travel just 25—or even 5—years ago to that often experienced today.
Compare the morale, competence, overall effectiveness-- and lethality-- of the American military circa 1992 to that of the American military circa 2023. Which would be likely to instill more fear in our enemies?
And it isn’t just America that has lost its way-- and moral clarity. Most Western nations have forgotten their raison d'etre, have forgotten how Rome fell. Even the Vatican isn’t what it used to be. Consider, say, Pope John Paul II as opposed to Pope Francis.
Freedom-loving citizens of the West, it is time to realize that, while we were sleeping—or were hyper-focused on being tolerant and inclusive—those that refuse to tolerate or include us have dramatically changed the world…and not for the better.
We should have done more conserving and less tolerating.