For me to write about our culture, requires that I leave my comfort zone. The soft sciences were never my strong suit.
Trying to define the American culture, in which most of us grew up, in a few words, is no easy task. To be honest, America has always been a patch quilt of many different cultures. And yet, there does seem to be a few common threads that occur to me: the rule of law, a common ethical and moral bond, and religion/church. At least to this humble observer, those are the pillars upon which the American culture was formed. To me, those three components of our culture are interdependent. The democratic principles laid out in our constitution can not long endure without the rule of law. The rule of law can only hold as long as a common respect for the rule of law and that respect is the product of a common set of ethics and morals. Society, in general, learned their ethics and moral values from their churches and synagogues.
America has changed dramatically since the sixties. We all know the reasons. Today or president and many other elected officials show disdain for the rule of law and, thereby, set the bad example for all of our citizens. Our common bond of ethical and moral behavior is disappearing more and more every day. Our churches are less and less relevent in our lives and to some extent our churches have become part of the problem. Many of them today promote socialism. And, many more are afraid to speak out politically. Maggie, at Maggie’s Notebook, wrote a powerful piece on this subject that I highly recommend.
The America I grew up in after WWII was a much different America than the one today’s children are growing up in. For the last two months, I have been receiving e-mails from GOPUSA. I never opened any of them because I don’t need any pep talks to convince me that we need to change the course this country is on. But, yesterday for some reason I did open one. It was an article written by Star Parker. In her article, she develops an analogy between the financial bubbles that we have seen come and then burst with the bubble of support for Obama that still has not burst. She builds a case that the Obama support bubble is still strong due to the changing demographics in America. She presents some data and statistic to back up her argument and then recomends wht Republicans and conservatives can do to influence these demographic groups and, thereby, help to burst the Obama support bubble. That is not what caught my eye. It is the data and statistic which describe in part what has happened to our culture that I find alarming. For example:
Shouldn’t today’s economic facts on the ground be sufficient to puncture the Obama bubble? One part of the answer to this puzzle is the changing demographics of the country. The United States today is a nation that is much less white, much less married, and less traditional than it once was. Each of these trends reflects a rise in constituencies with values supportive of Obama’s worldview — activist government and/or moral relativism.
Less white, less married, and less traditional. She is right, isn’t she?
What was once the exception to the rule in America — not being white, not being married, not having traditional views on family, sex and abortion — is now becoming the rule. And these constituencies are becoming sufficiently large to elect a president.
Reading those words is like a punch in the solar plexus. But, she is right! And, this is how these changes are affecting politics in America:
National Journal released a poll right before the debate showing Obama and Romney dead even nationwide — 47 percent each — among likely voters. The poll shows Obama’s white support at just 38 percent. Obama was elected in 2008 with 43 percent of the white vote. He could be re-elected with even less. In Gallup’s polling of last week, Obama’s approval among white voters stood at 39 percent. He gets 38 percent approval among those who attend church weekly, compared with 55 percent among those who attend church seldom or never. And his approval among married voters is 40 percent, compared with 57 percent among those not married.
I think the following statistics on marriage in 1960 compared to 2010 is very telling about how drastically our culture has changed.
According to data compiled by the Tax Foundation, the large majority of those now filing tax returns in the U.S. are single. In 1960, 65 percent of all tax filers were married and 35 percent single. In 2010, it’s reversed — 61 percent of filers were single and 39 percent married.
This is not the America I grew up in and I doubt it ever can be again. We may be able to slow the trend through elections; but we as a people are not who we use to be. Over the history of mankind, in spite of the fact that more people have died in the name of religion than nearly any other cause, religion has been fundamental to the ethical and moral glue that has held civilizations together andmaking the rule of law possible. As religion or churches continue to become less relevent in people’s lives, what will be the glue that holds future civilizations together?
Well, now you know what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?