Like most people growing up in the middle of the 20th century, I thought my upbringing was ‘normal.’ At the time, both Grandma P and I thought that we were what was called ‘middle class.’ We did not have any more material possessions than anyone else, but we did have everything that was needed to grow and prosper. We each had two loving parents. My farm family always planted a huge garden. That was because my grandmother was raised during the time of the Great Depression, and was damn well bent on the fact that none of us was ever going to starve! When the peas in the garden were ripe, we had peas for two meals a day until they were gone. (Mercifully, we did not have to eat peas for breakfast!) When the lettuce was ripe…same thing. We were subjected to this kind of diet for every vegetable that could not be frozen or canned, throughout the entire summer.
We were raised to respect authority and our elders. It did not matter if that authority was a teacher, preacher or policeman. I received the ‘do as the cop tells you speech’ at an early age. The second part of that speech was that I should not do anything so stupid as to need a policeman’s involvement. You know those things: speeding, drinking, stealing, yada yada. Some of my most serious discipline, as handed out by my father, ‘Big Daddy G,’ was because he heard that I had misbehaved in class. (Amazingly, the husbands of 3 of my 6 elementary school teachers worked with my dad! He never attended parent/teacher conferences. He got reports every frickin’ day!) By today’s standards, my actions would draw a smile. By ‘Big Daddy G’s’ standards, corporal punishment was required! (And received!) Big Daddy G was a strict adherent to black and white. Shady gray was never a part of his color palette. There was no room for compromise as to what was right, and what was wrong, as that line was never allowed to blur.
I recited the Pledge of Allegiance, every day for my entire 12 years of school. We stood at attention, with our hands over our hearts as we were saying it. This is what you did in a small, blue-collar, midwestern community where practically all of your parents and teachers survived the Great Depression and fought in World War II. They were a tough generation to have survived so much. They had no compunction to be ‘soft’ on the children they brought into this world.
For all of us, the ‘baby boomers’, our childhoods were not draconic. We were being parented! Our parents, because of their experiences, imparted their values on us. They also implanted expectations as to what we could become with effort. They never waivered in their love of country or their belief that America was indeed the ‘land of opportunity.’ For all of us that are from this generation, this was ‘normal.’ So what has happened?
Defunding the Police
This past summer has seen destruction and carnage in many of our major cities. Minneapolis, because of the death of George Floyd. Seattle and New York saw rioting and looting. Portland will probably be in the Guinness Book of Records for allowing a riot to go unchecked for over 100 days. Anarchists seized a multi-block area of Seattle that was allowed to go unchecked for over a month. During my youth, these actions would have been unthinkable. During my youth, there would have been swift justice dealt to the perpetrators of these incidents before the loss of property and the loss of life. So what are the responses of the mayor’s of these communities? Well, in Minneapolis, because of the unfortunate death of George Floyd, there has been a movement to defund the police. The George Floyd incident was the excuse given for all of the rioting and destruction that has taken place. So the media has turned the spotlight on the police as being the villains in this surrealistic scenario, followed by the total lack of common sense and action by the mayors and governors of the affected states and cities. I would like to point out that this anti-cop attitude began with our last black President, who stoked the fires of racism by stating, “If I had a son, he would be just like Trayvon Martin.” There you have it. Black thugs are all good. All cops are bad. Is this the new norm?
There was a time in one of my classes when the teacher had us perform a political debate. This particular debate was about the upcoming election between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. My family were all FDR democrats, so I was on the Kennedy side of the equation. I slam-dunked the election debate in our favor by quoting and producing an article that had been printed in the largest major newspaper in our state. (It still is!) Because of the validity attached to that article and because of the status of that newspaper, the Kennedy side won! How much of what you read or see in a newspaper would you believe today? How much of any media source do you believe today?
I very much remember when Richard Nixon resigned as POTUS, because of the Watergate scandal. Do you remember that this whole scandal was exposed because of investigative reporters? Yup. Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, both working for the Washington Post, exposed the scandal and brought down a presidency. Ah yes….those were the good old days! So where did these investigative reporters go? Have they not heard of Hunter Biden? The fictitious Steele dossier? The Russian collusion hoax? The politicizing of the FBI and CIA? Benghazi? The Clinton emails? The Clinton Foundation? The Uranium One deal? Holy cow! You cannot shake a stick without hitting on what should be a slam-dunk for getting a bushel of Pulitzer Prizes by exposing liberal maleficence! But sadly, the media is liberal, too. So no real investigative reporting has ever been done on any of these subjects. Is this the new normal?
Social Media Bias
Did you know that 65% of all Americans receive their news on social media? Yup. And considering that in our recent election, the big social media outlets took it upon themselves to block any info concerning Hunter Biden as it relates to his father. They had no problem with the fictitious Steele dossier, or anything that was anti-Trump, but they decided that there was not enough evidence to allow the Hunter Biden story.
So rather than being a conduit for ideas, these large social media outlets have decided to discard the first amendment, and inhibit the free speech provided by our Constitution. Trump has been likened to Hitler, but yet, it is the left, biased media that is exerting dictatorial, discriminate authority…much like Hitler! The new norm?
Antifa and BLM
Call me a racist, but I happen to believe that ‘ALL LIVES MATTER!’ And, yes, that includes black lives as well. If you believe that Black Lives Matter is some sort of civil liberties organization, you had better go on-line and read their website. They are a politically socialistic organization with a huge socialistic agenda. Antifa? Antifa keeps trying to purvey, along with the help of the liberal media, that they are a group fighting fascists in America. Fascists? I am pretty sure we killed most of the Fascist bastards with the deaths of Hitler and Mussolini. I am pretty sure that these fascists are fictitious, much like the Steele dossier, in order to justify their illegal actions. And like BLM, they are attempting to put ‘lipstick on this pig,’ to make it appear as a civil liberties organization. Like BLM, they are not a civil liberties organization. Check them out. So here you have it. Two organizations largely responsible for the destruction of property, businesses and the livelihoods of thousands of Americans trying to pass themselves off as civil liberties organizations. The new normal?
There are a plethora of items that could constitute being the ‘new normal’ from when I was growing up in our great nation. Can we not count our election ballots in one night? In 1960, all ballots were manually counted, and we knew who the POTUS was before we went to sleep. Do we attempt to change our history by destroying buildings and statues that represent our past? Is ‘shaking down’ foreign countries by our politicians and their family members the ‘new normal?’ Do we think our country is so terrible, that we have to take a knee during the national anthem to show our displeasure? Is this the new normal?
I will tell you that as a senior citizen, I am not pleased as to what kind of country we are leaving our children and grandchildren. Even though we did not grow up having the technological marvels that we take for granted today, we had opportunity and a burning desire to improve ourselves. Call me naïve, but I believe I grew up in a better America.
P.S. Ode to Beau
My friend, Beau, recently passed away. Beau was the father of the Bijou Mauler, who was my proof reader for the beginning of my blog. Beau always read and commented on each of my blogs. He also forwarded my blogs to his many friends. I jokingly referred to him as my ‘best disciple.’ He was, without question, my most fervent reader. You are sadly missed, because you were a fantastic person, husband, father, and grandfather. Rest in peace, Beau!!