Lasting Change Takes Time and Conversation
There were times over the past 3-5 years where I thought I was going nuts. The world was changing around me at such a rapid pace it was impossible to keep up with it. In general, I'm not a fan of change. I can definitely roll with the punches to a certain extent but real, serious change to anything can be mind numbing and crippling to me. Our views on America and American pride are changing and I don’t always agree with it or want to accept it.
Take Captain America for example. First published in 1940, Captain America was created as a symbol of American freedom, strength and pride while World War II was raging across Europe. Although America hadn’t yet entered the war, the super hero was most assuredly seen as a way to boost morale and act as a sort of positive propaganda for the country. Who would be our Captain America today? What would he/she look like? Would they even be a man or a woman or would they identify as something else? The very sentence I just wrote wouldn’t even have made sense 10 years ago and yet, we’re asked to simply accept and respect the change for what it is: progress. It may well be, but the fact of the matter is, Captain America or any other superhero espousing the greatness or might of America would never be created today. No one would want it.
In order to understand why so many of us are confused on a daily basis we need to only look at how much the world has changed. During the formative days of my youth (the 90s), we had an “I don’t care what you do, just be happy” kind of attitude. I always considered it similar to what was seen in the 60s except a lot more built up angst, flannel and perhaps better hygiene habits. I was always proud of who we were as a generation. Our parents had been a bit too conservative, caring about whether someone had long hair, was gay or lived a lifestyle different from their own. We simply didn’t care, none of that concerned us. Do whatever you want to do, just respect yourself and those around you. It was a pretty simple concept and one I thought we’d be able to build on as we got older. Unfortunately, the building blocks grew wings and started sprouting every which way.
In my humble opinion, the iPhone is the single greatest product of my lifetime. The genius of Steve Jobs and his team cannot be understated. The smart phone has transformed our society. Unfortunately, the transformation isn’t always for the better. Human beings are flawed creatures. We say things we shouldn’t, do things we wish we could take back and have regrets on a daily and/or weekly basis. If you’re reading this thinking, “that’s not me, I have zero regrets.” My response would be, “hey Jesus, great to finally meet you.” You’re not perfect and neither am I, that’s the point. We all make mistakes, it’s part of what makes us human. Yet, having a camera and microphone at the ready allowing you to take video of total strangers and post online is the very definition of a big brother society. This exposes all of our flaws and inhibitions, giving the populace an ability to pass judgment and sentence you without any further discussion. A trial of your peers happens in a town square format, it’s the digital version of stoning someone to death.
The digital society that we now live in has allowed us to move further away from humanity and embrace a mass construct sharing the same thoughts, ideas and feelings. This sheep mentality has wormed its way into our politics, parenting methodologies and social structures. How else to explain people being ok with children being castrated in order to change their gender? Children used to be a coveted part of our society worthy of our protection. They’ve now been reduced to chattel in the ever expanding gender identity debate. Count me in on those who think it’s insane that some states provide boys the decision making ability to cut off their own penis before they’re old enough to legally have a beer. Providing flexibility, understanding and empathy for those children struggling with their gender identity is extremely important. Showing a little common sense as an adult in providing them the ability to find themselves in a safe and caring environment is a much better idea than life changing surgery. Rather than altering the course of their lives forever, allow them the freedom to find themselves as they struggle with raging hormones and daily changes to their emotional state. Protecting our children from this madness is the only course of action worthy of discussion.
There have been a couple of online interactions I’ve watched recently that have provided me hope for the future of America. One was a Tucker Carlson interview with Ice Cube. The fact I’m even able to type those two names in the same sentence gives me hope. The image of a staunch right wing conservative like Carlson sitting next to the venerable Ice Cube having a conversation about the state of America was a welcome sight. Regardless of what you think about Tucker Carlson, interviews like this one are essential for America to move forward and face head on the many issues that present themselves on a daily basis. The interview is available on X (aka Twitter) and I would encourage you to watch it.
The second interaction I watched more recently. Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy was approached by a pan-sexual reporter who asked his opinion on the LBGTQ+ community and same sex couples. He calmly responded that he believes there is a “Tyranny of the minority” happening in our country. This is in response to the “Tyranny of the majority” to remove the majority that has been in power up to this point in our country. He further states he thinks it’s wrong when agendas are forced upon people who either don’t agree with them or fundamentally disagree due to their religious beliefs. In both interviews, there were disagreements and different ways of viewing a particular issue. Rather than forcing a divide between them, there was civil discourse and a conversation about the differences. We need more of this in America.
As a country, we have a lot of issues. The fact we’re finally facing many of them is a step in the right direction. We just need to keep in mind that real and lasting change is both hard and time consuming. As I’ve gotten older, I realize the younger generation is almost always the more progressive. There’s a tendency to want to change the world and society for the better. I certainly commend this thought and would want nothing more than to make America a more inclusive and better society for my children. Forcing agendas on them in the name of change will not help us get there. It’s my job as a parent to provide my kids with the proper foundation on which our country can continue to positively progress. It’s not the job of her school or a government administrator to fill her head with their opinion of what America is and isn’t. You can leave that to me, thanks anyway.
Change in the name of eradicating our freedoms is not the answer. Taking videos of someone at their lowest moment(s) and posting online to either embarrass or shame is not positive progress. Listen to your neighbor. Have a conversation with someone who resides in a different socio economic sphere than your own. Understand how inflation is impacting them differently than you. Understand how they may be struggling with their identity or mental state. Understand, listen and have empathy for each other.
Sounds easy enough, but it can be hard to hear the progress we’re making above all the shouting.