A friend recently wrote me a thought-provoking discussion:
”Decades ago I read that each generation has to win its freedoms. May I, without being charged with donning rose-tinted glasses, ask if America’s next generation will rewin only lost freedoms or will they win some new freedoms?
”The progress made during my lifetime include these:
*1930-era creation of Social Security,
*WW2’s defeat of fascism,
*desegregated public schools,
*state-mandated prayer tossed from public schools,
*LGBT rights (including marriage), ….
”We appear headed for a battle with conservatives who lost much during those decades. The GOP was before WW2 an isolationist party; it is now a xian-dominated party and it will fail as the USA becomes as secular as many European nations became after their centuries of religious warfare.
”My memoir-writing class will resume in a few weeks. I may write of those decades. In a section on new advances I will tell of the 32 states—and the nation—whose voters have yet to win the direct initiative and referendum, ...if they survive climate change.”
~ Tom Sarbeck"
Reply by Joan Denoo
YES! I have seen these changes and the effects they have on our culture.
You and I know what life was like without these hard fought for rights.
Please do write your memoir and share them with us, especially about voter rights!
Your sentence, "We appear headed for a battle with conservatives who lost much during those decades" reveals the privileges white, male, and christians lost: lies, myths, supremacy, misogyny, mendacity, homophobia, segregation, and poverty of the elderly, women, children, and working men.
Joan, back in 1968, I was a sharecropper in a production of Finian's Rainbow, a fun yet poignant musical which focused on racial inequality, back when it was hardly popular to notice such things (at the time FR was originally produced). The attitude of one of the reactionaries in that piece echoes in large portion the point of view of some Republicans I could mention:
Gentlemen, the festering tides of radicalism are upon us. But before I yield up our glorious South – and her sister commonwealth, the U.S. of A – I will lay down my life. I will do more – I will filibuster. Back, you crackpots! Forward, America! Forward to the hallowed principles of our forefathers. Forward to the sweet tranquility of the status quo. Forward... to yesterday!
-- Missitucky Senator Billboard Rawkins
Pardon me, but going "forward into the past" is NOT my idea of progress, yet that is where Trump and his hangers-on in the Republican party wish to take us. The sad fact is that they may succeed, whereupon we will be put in the position of reclaiming freedoms which were once ours and which they decided to rescind. I say again: we need to fight like hell to stop them, or at least to register in their minds to some degree that their actions are not universally accepted or acceptable.
As Keith Olbermann said repeatedly: "Resist – Remove – Peace."
"Forward to the sweet tranquility of the status quo. Forward... to yesterday!
-- Missitucky Senator Billboard Rawkins"
Those words pain me still! Attitudes, based on Beliefs, transmit to the next generation by Tradition, and for a Values of a society.
One of my classes, when I taught, was "ABCTV: Attitudes, Beliefs, Customs, Traditions, and Values."
We may not know the values of a person even as they quickly become recognized because of the attitudes, beliefs, customs, and traditions.
In 1968, I lived in Bethesda, MD while Don completed his residency at Walter Reed General Hospital. It was the height of the civil rights movement, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the 1968 Democratic Convention, there was the riot in Anacostia MD, deaths, fires, terrible rebellion in Washington, D.C.
OH! I remember that year well. In 1968, traditions were blown to Hell, new attitudes, beliefs, and customs saw the light of day!
In my view the new freedoms for which the upcoming generation will energize will be about survival. Liberals will work toward global survival, species survival, a liveable planet. Meanwhile conservative youth of various persuasions will work even harder (fire in their belly) for survival of "their own" at the expense of everyone else, either presuming the planet will re-stabilize or gripped by apocalyptic fervor.
The Conservatives I know have no interest beyond their own. They will push their way through, denigrate those who do not conform to their ideology, and place the blame on those who do not join their cult. In the end, life will not survive as we know it. Cockroaches and sharks seem to have survived several extinctions.