Hello fellow Americans,
Today, I want to have a serious chat with all of you so grab something cool and wet to drink and get comfy as I expound on how American lifestyles have changed over a few decades – some for the good and some for the bad-and how those changes have affected the most vulnerable amongst us, Children.
Unlike my previous chapters, here, here, here, and here, today I wish to delve deeper into what makes us tick and why that is so important. Simply stated, in America, the goal should always be that parents raise productive and healthy citizens which provide continued stability of our society, defend our freedoms, and promote the best outcomes for a quality life for us all. Traditional family values once produced such citizens and our children and culture were all the better for it.
So allow me to build out my thoughts on a timeline of sorts that starts a little more than halfway along This Great American Experiment:
This is the era I grew up in. WW II ended in 1945 and American families were emerging into what would be called the idyllic golden age for the family. The stereotypical reference to the nuclear family stems from this post-war era of safety and prosperity characterized by an economically stable family unit made up of a father, mother, and offspring. Children were the center of family life and considered precious assets both to parents and the community. In 1950, 79 percent of households were married couples.
Very few wives worked outside the home, and even if they had to work, it was combined with their role as housewives and mothers. Fathers left the home weekdays to work while mothers tended to the brood’s daily needs and school assignments. In the evening the whole family would gather around the dinner table to consume a meal cooked by mom and discuss the events of the day. After the meal Dads would play ball or other games with the kids while mom cleaned up the kitchen and the entire family would then come together to read books, listen to a radio program, or for some watch a television show together. Then came baths for all and jammies then bedtime.
On the weekends’ picnics, BBQs, sporting events, swimming at the lake or pool, and other family outings would build on establishing quality family relationships. Families were large typically averaging 5 children and spaced close together. Extended family members were closer back then too and integral to the rearing of children and family life. Faith played a significant role in most American households, the share of adults who attended church or synagogue in a typical week peaked at 59 percent in 1958.
Early on in the forties, most families were renters but the 1950s ushered in the era of suburbanization. The Middle Class was born and families moved out of cities resulting in homeownership on the rise. Centrally located town squares and parks rose around these bedroom communities and a cohesive group shared common values reflected in the community shared activities. Schools and other services were located close by and parents felt at ease allowing children to walk to and from classes and back home. Long before there was a “neighborhood watch program” all adults in this era were surrogate parents who stepped in to protect and steward the young. The crime was relatively low and tranquility and balance of stress for most would describe the norm.
Children knew about war, sacrifice, and heroes. Their elders kept American history alive and taught them about patriotism and pride, wrong from right, and how to get along with others hopefully instilling self-reliance. And all institutions of American life reinforced that common value system. Teens even brought their rifles to school for marksman classes or ROTC. There were no mass school shootings or routine bloody beatdowns at the local hamburger joints. For the most part, children felt safe, showed respect and followed directions, and were happy innocents. Society had clear lines that youth could recognize and thrive.
No, everything was not perfect, and not all families shared in the above lifestyle but what is key is many did and this was the expectation or goals of what was the societal norm at the time. Adults were expected to strive no matter their economic station to be responsible and raise healthy and productive citizens that contributed to the greater society. This thinking was later dubbed “traditional values “and was revered back then not vilified. But cultures evolve and time does march forward. One should expect changes as technology and educational leaps happen but these transitions should yield positive outcomes shouldn’t they?
This era can be summarized by two monumental events that shifted American families and culture forever going forward. These were the creation of the welfare state and the Vietnam war. The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States launched by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964–65 to ostensibly address poverty. After 7 trillion dollars and 50 plus years later the welfare state is a fixture of American society. These policies have negatively impacted black families the most but not solely. For a brief overview the great economist and American patriot, Thomas Sowell walks us through:
The second of these was the Vietnam war, a 19-year conflict which America’s soldiers primarily entered on Aug. 5, 1964, and exited on May 7, 1975. These pivotal events shifted American society to such a degree that “traditional values” became the number one target of the political/culture class that was birthed forth. War meant many found themselves raising children in a single-family household either while spouses were deployed or dead. Many servicemen who made it back home returned to broken marriages and divorce became a trend, was accepted, and households with married couples dropped to 74 percent. These circumstances meant mothers had to work to put a roof over their children’s heads leaving kids to fend for themselves far too often. Military spouses are not to blame for the choices thrust upon them and those with little extended family assistance did their best.
The Anti – War movement coupled with the explosion of drug culture, and hippie flower power lifestyles collided with the rest of American life reflecting the societal crisis. The rise of television as a dominant medium as a shaping force as well as music influenced ‘60s culture in general. Parents became more permissive and family time was not the same priority as it was in previous decades. Under the guise of a sexual revolution phrases like “Turn on, tune in, and drop out”, “Let your freak flag fly”, and “The Man” reflected the anti-establishment and anti-traditional values mood of the moment. Out of wedlock births rose and families decreased in size to three or fewer children on average. Radicals do not produce productive citizens.
More fatherless children and communal family situations became prevalent and before long we had a phenomenon in this country known as latchkey kids. After school young children would be alone for long hours in their homes and apartments with television as a nanny. Or often mothers would leave their kids with neighbors sometimes ones they knew little about, out of necessity. Kids being kids would leave doors unlocked, or sneak out to play unattended and in harm’s way, and even tell mom homework was completed only to have an exhausted working mom take their word for it. the crime was ticking up in suburban areas by this time and suddenly families were confronted with a new threat. Missing children began to become a thing. Across the country, in small towns and city playgrounds, kids would go out to play and would be abducted. Elements of drug culture mixed in with human trafficking and domestic disputes were in play. Not long after this frightening uptick in child abductions schools adopted the policy of aftercare programs and childcare facilities became popular. This seemed like a better idea than latchkey but many kids would spend long hours in daycare settings, picked up after 7 pm or well after dark so evening quality time with parents was cut short. Kids learned to take a series of buses to traverse from school to home putting them further delayed and at risk for harmful intervention.
The 1970s was “woman hear me roar time” meaning liberation on steroids. In what turned out to be a misguided continuation of the ” 60s cultural revolution” women became “empowered” and angrier and dissatisfied in general. ( more on this in the video presented at the end of the article.) The welfare state grew larger, incarceration rates went up, and the start of generational dependency was fostered. This was all a perfect storm for dysfunctional families raising unhappy and maladjusted citizens.
The 1980 -1990
Bring on the era of decadence and keeping up with the Joneses. What might have been thrust upon women in the 60s during wartime was now becoming a choice. Two parents working was more the norm and consequentially prices of homes, cars, etc. exponentially cost more. Suddenly chasing for evermore disposable income became a priority over family life. Predictably, the negative trends of the 60s and 70s continued and broken marriages were becoming more commonplace with divorce rates reaching their peak in the latter half of the 1970s and remaining high throughout the 1980s. Also, many women were choosing to remain single and pursue professional careers. As a result, single-parent families became a significant part of the American cultural landscape. By 1991 only 55% percent of households were married couples.
Again parents increased reliance on daycare and many kids found themselves with second-marriage stepparents to contend with as well. The extended family faded as people became more mobile and moved away from relatives. MTV (Music Television), round around-the-clock CNN (Cable News Network) Nickelodeon, TV, and video games became surrogate caregivers and influencers. Simultaneously the number of children and teens seeking mental health care skyrocketed along with teen suicide rates. The family nucleus was mocked as non-progressive. American Youth continued to suffer as we moved away from the core values we had previously.
The Twin Towers came down. 911 changed the world and once again our country would go to war. Although the deployed and casualty numbers pale in comparison to Vietnam- the effects of both and the returning injured are ever-present. The 1960s Anti War radicals were now the same in academia, news divisions, entertainment, and politicians. It did not take long before the cry of “war criminal” divided the culture yet again. Against that backdrop, Nearly half (46%) of single parents are not fully employed and require government subsidy. The internet, computers, and mobile phones have changed all aspects of our culture and even how we communicate and connect. Parents text kids instructions and even goodnight messages. Gathering around the family table for a meal is an oddity, not the norm. Race and ethnicity, education, economics, and immigration status define how the culture interacts with you now. Women delay having children and marry later in life and the ‘marriage-go-round’ of numerous marriages go up. Millennials surpassed Generation Xers as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force by 2010. Religious affiliation drops significantly among families identified per Census data. Same-sex marriage becomes a political hot potato and culturally the “ME” generation cannot seem to self soothe or feel contentment. Child-like biological adults are raising wildlings in certain sectors of our society.
I am going to move this along now as the point is clear our children have not benefited from all of our lifestyle changes. Family life in this decade bears no resemblance to the one I grew up in. Gay marriage is law, intersectionality has replaced biology, and an ever-ending self-sabotaging endorsement of radical social engineering is on the march. Our children live in a world where school mass shootings, choose your pronoun, gender fluidity is a thing, anti-white racism is championed, Transgender transitioning hormones are given to children, BLM, Antifa, and Critical Race Theory is the norm.
We have raised the most indoctrinated and malignant narcissist generation to date who cannot critically think.
I imagine your head is reeling reading all my thoughts on the matter and some will feel I have been too harsh in presenting them. But consider that this decline in our family life that destroyed our traditional family values -was all by some grand design. This is a two-part documentary called ” Grinding Down America” that explains much of what I described through the decades. I think you should watch it and then re-read my chapter for better context and perspective.
Please become active and gather at your school board meetings, your state representative’s offices, and stand up for the innocents. If you are not convinced it is necessary to do so just read these articles for more motivation.
I know you were worried I would not get there, but guess what? You guessed it, end of the chapter. So here are those recipes I promised in chapter 4.
- 1 can salmon
- Crush 8 cracker squares/or eyeball half of sleeve of crackers
- two eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- shortening /oil enough to shallow pan fry
Instructions: Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl till well incorporated. ( minus oil) Heat oil or shortening in skillet till slight smoke then drop a large spoonful of mixture and flatten with a spoon. Cook on each side for 10 min or until golden brown. Set to drain on paper towel.
- 4 tablespoons of shortening/oil
- 3 lb. of stew meat ( your choice )
- 5 cups of water
- one onion chopped or sliced
- six potatoes cut into quarters
- five carrots cubed
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch or more of nutmeg
Instructions: Brown meat in shortening, but don’t drain. Add water and spices and cook until the meat is tender and done. Then add potatoes and carrots -and more water if needed. Cook until vegetables are tender. Serve up a hearty bowl of stew.
Brown Gravy & Fried Okra
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1 cup of beef stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions: Brown butter in a saucepan, add flour, and brown. Add liquid and stir until smooth and thick.
Ingredients and instructions:
- Eyeball how much Okra you need and wash and cut tops off and slice into small pieces.
- Drop into a bowl of flour or cornmeal ( 1 cup or so)
- Shake off the excess of the dredged dry ingredient before dropping it into heated cooking oil.
- Brown up then drain and serve with hot gravy.
Until chapter six- hug and love up on the children in your life and feed them so yummy recipes. Remember to advocate for the innocents.
Your friend and patriot,