The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
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by Ron Cruger
What happened to the U.S.A.?
Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Ron at
"Nothing endures but change!"
        There was a time when things were corny. The leading television shows were corny. Songs on the "Hit Parade" were corny. Our mothers and fathers were corny. Grandparents were exceedingly corny. Our cars were big, fancy and corny. Young boys wore their hair in corny ducktails. Young girls wore big, frilly skirts and bobby sox.
        Our country has grown up. We're not corny anymore.
        Our popular television shows feature dysfunctional families and individuals. Reality shows feature the most nauseating actions of which humans are capable.
        Mothers and fathers strive to be like their children. The most popular songs of the day are filled with gutter humor, misogyny and animus. Each year the use of swear words become more acceptable in the media. Our youth can hardly utter a sentence without using the "f" word.
        Girls go to their high school classes wearing revealing garb. The use of illegal drugs has become almost the norm among our children. The production and sale of illegal drugs has become a leading world-wide business.
        A great percentage of Americans are overweight. Every new invention replaces the use of our muscles.
        And perhaps most dangerous of all is the polarization of America. We have become embattled to the point of dysfunction. Over the past decade Americans have moved further apart from each other. The number of citizens who call themselves moderates has declined. Our country is becoming more divided into conservatives and liberals. We are going through another widening of the gulf between our country's citizens. The Tea Party believers have further separated the nation as has talk of the forty seven percent of Americans, who they claim only exist to get handouts from the government. And now we are becoming even further bisected by the division of American into the 1% and the 99% of us.
         We are becoming a nation and a people of statistics. Statistics have shown that if you are in a Whole Foods store there is an almost 90% chance that the county surrounding you voted for Obama for president.
        We are becoming less of a nation of free-thinkers and more of a people taking one side against the other. We are morphing into a land of enclaves, where the way we vote, worship, work and eat are aligned. One group against another.
        There was a time when congressmen from both parties went to many of the same social events. Their children played on the same teams, spouses became friends. Now, most congressmen fly to Washington on Monday night, argue with their opposition party then fly home Thursday night. Interlinking and friendships between the two parties has disappeared. And so, our nation suffers from inaction and sluggishness.
         Perhaps we need more of that old-fashioned corniness. Our nation did move ahead when we found ourselves being a bit more corny. Maybe the "other side" has some good points. Let's talk it over.

"Nothing in the world lasts
 Save eternal change"
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