In the "old" America people recognized the value of education and sacrificed to get it, if not for themselves, then surely for their children. The first step to success is acquiring the knowledge to make something of yourself. Schools were places where learning was expected and routinely took place. Classrooms were orderly, students were respectful, and teachers were competent. The role of parents was to see that the kids did their homework; they had no say in curriculum development, teacher hiring, or how education budgets were spent. The system worked. In new America, classrooms lack discipline, students are out of control, and parents are free to waste precious education dollars on stupid, feel-good programs that are of no value. Administrators cheat to get test scores up, and despite this, expectations from the school system are at an all-time low.
Old America understood the idea of a work ethic. Once an education was secured, people moved eagerly into the workplace to prove their worth. Starting at the bottom and moving up on merit was the formula that made America's workforce among the most productive in the world. In new America, greedy unions have buried so many industries and driven others overseas. Greedy banks and executives have embezzled the life savings of hard working people to line their own pockets. Workers have become lazy and are put to shame by their counterparts in other parts of the world. America is now one of the world's biggest importers of foreign goods and our balance of trade is growing worse every year. Programs like Affirmative Action were eventually recognized as flawed, but not before doing irreparable damage to the economy and the people they were supposed to help.
In old America there were always political parties who fought tooth and nail, but when the smoke cleared, would line up behind whoever won for the good of the country. Discourse and debate were part of the system but carried on in a civil tone with some recognition of decency boundaries that were not crossed. The media were more balanced and objective in coverage of political candidates. In new America, candidates go for each other's throats. If one party loses an election, it does it's best to hamper the progress of the winner, with the American people being the losers in the end. Media coverage of candidates is a joke...there has been such a wild swerve to the left in media coverage that people have no chance of ever getting the honest truth anymore.
In old America, capitalism was the engine that drove the country toward prosperity; now we are slowly but surely creeping toward socialism. Self-reliance was the credo of independent Americans who trusted to their wits and willingness to work hard; now one family in four in the U.S. receives government assistance or welfare payments of some sort. Freedom of religion was one of the fundamental liberties for Americans; our founders based many of America's laws on Christian principles of tolerance and charity. Now people go out of their way to remove any traces of the acknowledgment by government of a higher power in the universe. Morality is for the other guy. I want as much as I can grab with both hands and I don't care how I get it. Finally, patriotism was rampant in old America; now our President apologizes to foreign powers at the drop of a hat, and it's hard to find a few people willing to attend a Veteran's Day parade.
I know, I know, old America wasn't perfect but it was a damned sight better than where we're headed today.
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