The cry baby culture
By Bob Hicks
These lyrics are from the song, "Count Your Blessings", popularized in 1954 by Bing Crosby. The generation in charge of America in those days had two marvellous achievements to their credit. They came out of the depression with their souls intact, and they had vanquished a three-nation axis whose regimes had each been the greatest foes to freedom up to that time. They got a lot of their inner fortitude and inspiration from the songs, movies, and literature of the day conveyed by masterful and talented artists and politicians. Movie stars and singers like Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, James Cagney, Bette Davis, and Katherine Hepburn. Politicians and yes, even statesmen, like Eisenhower, Truman and Stevenson. Athletes like Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Johnny Unitas. The American culture up to and through the 1950's was truly a culture of good. Those who were looked up to back then were heroes who carried themselves in public with humility and unbridled dignity. These were people who considered themselves blessed by their fellow countrymen and the nation whose flag they revered. Anyone who would broach the subject "America" to those named above, or to any of their respective contemporaries, would have been regaled unceasingly about how good America is, how fair America is, how much promise the future holds for anyone willing to try.
One who would aspire to leadership in any endeavour in the mid 1950's would never have spoken disparagingly about this nation. One was certainly free to single out an individual or corporate entity or governmental personage for negative or disparaging commentary. But the idea of America, the soul of America, were off limits. Not because America was so special, though she indeed is special. No, the reason one left "America" alone, treated her with respect was because in America and only on America did one have the freedom to succeed or fail as one chose, regardless of how big or small the person or company or association. America is the word Merit made flesh, the living embodiment of "I own myself, for good or ill. Don't tread on me and tell me how to live my life."
The Presidential campaign of 1959 was notable to this writer not for the "big" things that happened, though two noteworthy events transpired with the election of the first President to be born in the twentieth century and the first Roman Catholic to occupy the Oval Office. Of somewhat more significance was the young new President's reading matter. The human interest mavens of the day marvelled that he kept a copy of The Ugly American on his nightstand, a work of fiction which indicted America as being arrogant, pushy and uncaring. It painted a portrait of American foreign service weasels out to take advantage of any unwary peasant in need of a good old-fashioned con job. It was even rumoured in some circles that the book has served as the inspiration and impetus for JFK to pen Profiles in Courage. Hollywood seized the moment to make this malicious narrative into a motion picture, thus ushering in the age of America-bashing which flourishes in Hollywood and the press today.
Fast-forward two generations to the present. We now have a body-politic in power whose agenda and coming legacy can be summed up in six words, "He got more than I did." This mind-set manifests an attitude of immaturity astride self-centered greed and slothful arrogance. It calls to mind a spoiled little child with little or no appreciation for what they have, who is focused on what someone else has that they want simply so the other won't have it. Perish the thought of acquiring something by their own merit, "I deserve it because I'm here."
Such an attitude portends one thing when confined to the experience of a child. When this kind of idiocy is dressed up in the trappings of class-envy and sold under the guise of "Social Justice" in order to market Marxism and Stalinism to the public, we end up with the government owning automobile companies and other such putrid and obnoxious freedom killing policies.
There are many who portend that it's "not fair" for citizen A to earn $200,000 a year while citizen B only makes a tenth of that amount. Lairs!
Jesus said it best in Chapter 19:26 of Luke: "I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away."
In the modern vernacular that translates into, "Use it or lose it!"
Grow up America! Start counting our blessings and putting to good and productive use what we have, both as individuals or in concert; and stop coveting what the other fellow has that we don't.
This is Bob Hicks` first contribution to Enter Stage Right. © 2010 Bob Hicks.