Has America changed? You bet it has! Social mores have changed along with the diversity that made America great in the first place. The moment some proclaim immigrants have ruined our nation is the moment we have begun to lose our souls. America is a nation of immigrants. It seems some want to desperately erase Emma Lazarus' words on the Statute of Liberty (See http://www.libertystatepark.com/emma.htm). But, America has changed. When folks look back with nostalgia, they generally forget about all of the bad or negative things that were associated with those "good old times". Yet, instead of pointing out things that truly are not to blame for an alleged decline in America, we should be focusing instead on what made Americans proud. Politicians won't do this because divisive hatred towards another sells their rhetoric, and nothing suits politicians more than a divided country - filled with corrosive arguments created solely to fan the flames of hatred (with supporting complying media publicizing polished political sound bites)! So Rubin, what do YOU think has led to America's decline?
When I was a boy, we often looked towards Space as a frontier America owned. I mean, space missions were routinely viewed, even in school and were a wonderment of American accomplishment. Landing on the Moon so captivated the World that millions across the globe watched in awe at the scientific prowess of the United States. Why else would Americans get a chill every time a space shot was televised and the roaring rockets were shown with the red lettered "United States of America" painted on their sides? But somehow, the public grew tired and bored of our scientific accomplishments. Even though virtually all of the advances in technology we enjoy today have some ties to the space program, we no longer desire to share in our nation's accomplishments in space. Instead of having a collective pride in our nation, this element of collective accomplishment was allowed to fade into distant memory. How can I know this? Because Americans my age and older know exactly what I am referring to and those younger than say, 55 do not. Today, in 2015 (!), in some sectors of the nation, real science is in actual doubt - and many politicians and their supporting media perpetuate this doubt - all to our collective detriment.
Another aspect of American life that has "faded" from the scene are advancements in developing our infrastructure. Instead of celebrating the best, most efficient railways, smart highways, airports, bridges and new Internet super-highways, we have politicians complaining about how much they cost. If we no longer have anything to collectively appreciate as a nation (except our mighty military), what else can we do to combat the corrosive effects of divisive politics, promoted by self-serving interest groups and their billionaire donors? Does anyone seriously think the The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and/or Fox News is really interested in promoting what is good with America when instead promoting what is bad sells advertising, viewership and subscribers? Of course not. And to think of things that make America great takes too much effort when the public can no longer tell the difference between talking points and narratives from actual facts. It appears thinking is another casualty of modern times. In other words, the "Dumbing Down of America" does not lie at the feet of educators, but at the feet of politicians and their supporting media (see "reality shows" and punditry in place of actual expertise). Instead of continuously tearing America apart, how about we start addressing the issues that unite us and make us stronger? Instead of discussing fake news and rhetoric, we need a prescription towards making America go a long way to becoming "healthy" again. To do so, we need honest brokers of real news with real facts. To so so otherwise is to lead to the further destruction of what America really stands for. And any politicians that choose to rant about things that are not true, should be shunned by the public as well as media. But can this happen? Only if We the People demand it be so!
I know this sounds like cheerleading to a nation, but grandstanding on false narratives has done nothing but hurt our collective psyche. It's time to call for an end to this mind-numbing strategy by politicians. Nothing good comes from it, despite the hyper-partisan satisfaction it may bring to some folks. Reality is all that counts. Isn't it time to return to reality - before it's too late? Commenting early on about the detrimental impact of media, President Jefferson said it best; "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers." Isn't it high time the Public learn that modern media, with the help of politicians, easily manipulates and distracts Americans from our own greatness by frightening us with pre-packaged messages of doom and gloom? Just take a look at social media and think how superficial we have all become! It's time to take our country back - from those that cynically seek to divide us and sell us self-loathing propaganda for their political gain.
I love America and I know you do too! Spread the word and let's hope we can will ourselves back to believing in one another again! Have a great week!