Amazona there is a difference between taking a short cut to the Moral High Ground and actually looking out from the Moral High Ground. I’ll give you this point you are absolutely right that it is as simple as voting for Progressive or Liberal candidates to get your moral superiority biscuit. As a group Progressives do stand for good things. Being against poverty, torture, corruption, misogyny, bigotry, abuse aren’t simply things that Progressives are against though. Conservatives are also against many of these societal scourges.
This is where things get confusing and clearly why conservatives are tripped up and find themselves unpopular both electorally and in general. Progressives don’t require a purity test, a loyalty test, or a religious affiliation to walk into our tent. Conservatives with their messages about tax rates being too high should, on that issue alone, have had a way in to the minds of the moderates and independents out there but for some reason they have a social agenda that is more important to them than the economic agenda.
Issues like same sex marriage, abortion and immigration are where conservatives fail simply because their tent is not as inclusive. I’m not going to be so closed minded as to say that this is because of some grand bigoted conspiracy but it is what it is. Conservatives offer little to blacks, Latinos, members of the LGBTQ community, single mothers or the non religious. The coalition that has been built by conservatives since the fall of Nixon of working class whites in the rural West and South and a few upper middle class and wealthy whites who have an agenda driven by heredity and inheritance. This coalition had a majority during the Reagan era and had the Moral High Ground in the dying age of the Cold War. This coalition drove America forward to a conservative vision that likely thought that with political power would come the power to change society; to pull it back from the brink. At this point in Reagan’s second term no one would have imagined that 18 states and the District of Columbia would recognize the marriage rights of same sex couples.
And yet, thirty years later, here you are in an America that seems nearly alien to you. Looking up at people like me who are standing on top of the mountain of Morality. What happened? Is the question most of you are asking and that is the smartest question you can ask and it has an easy answer. Three decades ago, the Greatest Generation were the electoral force in America. They were more conservative than even you Amazona having never dabbled in the experimentation of the 1960s and 1970s with Liberalism as you have said you did. These men and women who were adults in the 1940s and 1950s were around your age now in the 1980s and Reagan was an ultimate relief to them. Hey were afraid the Greatest were that all of their hard work to secure freedom and liberty for the coming generations of THEIR CHILDREN was going to wasted by the creeping Socialism, Diversity and Depravity that they saw in Liberalism.
The answer is obvious what happened. Those from the Greatest Generation had children, the Baby Boomers, and those Boomers had children in the 1970s. Those Generation X children had children Generation Y, or the Millenials. Being born now to the Generation Y women are the Digital Natives of the information age or Gen Z kids. The easy answer to the question of what happened to fear of authoritarian religious, political or corporate power is the last generation that never questioned them has nearly died entirely and has been replaced with an ever more questioning set of grandchildren.
Those grandchildren continued the trend of questioning all authority that began in the 1960s into the new Millennium. I’ll be the first to admit that the War on Poverty was a failure because it simply threw money at a problem that could not be solved so simply. However, in that time the Greatest Generation still held sway on all matters social and the ground was not yet fertile for the sort of change that one sees today.
On my side of the great political divide Progressives worry about the pendulum swinging back toward conservatism on a daily basis. Maybe the generation that will be born to young girls that are infants now in America in the 2030s and 2040s will hearken back to the nostalgic days of the 1940s and 1950s. Who knows? By the time they go to the polls for the first time they will live in an America so saturated in information both for the good and the bad that the messages that resonated with 21 year olds in 1945 will seem as archaic as silent movies do today.
Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!
Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
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