All of us Americans alive today inherited the greatest country the world has ever known. For that we can be grateful. But our inheritance is being squandered before our eyes and we’re allowing it. For that we should be ashamed. We’re losing sight of what made America great: a constitutionally-limited government that protects our God-given rights, our traditional values, and our hard work.
Twice we elected a president who thinks America isn’t exceptional at all. He mocked those of us who believe that when he said in 2009
: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” He was twice elected by a majority who don’t think America is anything special either, who seem ashamed that, although their country has done more good than any other, it hasn’t done so perfectly. My fellow baby boomers who run America’s institutions seem to believe human perfection is attainable this side of the grave. They’re utopians. They don’t understand the tragic vision
- that the world will always be less than perfect, but people have the liberty to pursue happiness - and whether they succeed or fail is up to them.
They’re perpetual adolescents too. We humans fortunate enough to have been raised in a nuclear family - with a mother and father who loved each other - tended to worship our parents at least until we were teenagers. Then we noticed they weren’t perfect. For a while, their flaws magnified until they were all we could see. During this period we thought we were much smarter than they were, and when we grew up we would do everything much better than they did. That’s the nature of adolescence. But we’re supposed to grow out of it by 25 or so after we’ve been humbled by our own mistakes, the ones we make all by ourselves - the ones we cannot blame on anyone else.
Ideally, we’d emerge then as young adults who retain adolescent idealism and energy that is tempered by gratitude and humility. Only then would we be ready do the work necessary to - not just preserve our inheritance, but build upon it - add to it - make America even more secure for our posterity. If we never progress beyond adolescence, however, we won’t be equipped to do that, nor will be inclined. Instead, we’ll spend our lives finding fault with our ancestors, endlessly pointing out where they fell short of perfection, and whining about it.
Look at slavery!” Boomers shout, seemingly unaware that every other civilization in history, including Africans, practiced slavery until European and American Christians led the movement to outlaw it. “Look at what America did to Indians!” they shout, as if the way European Americans fought Indians was any worse than how Indians fought each other before Europeans got here. We didn’t eat them, torture them, or sacrifice them to our gods the way many Indians did each other. Yet, perpetually-adolescent Americans twice elected a guy who went overseas apologizing for his country, saying
: “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history. … Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans.”
Then adolescent American baby boomers had children of their own - fewer than our parents did though - about half as many. We didn’t do a good job raising them either because adolescents don’t make good parents - especially when their own children reach adolescence. Even while they act like they disdain grown-ups, teenagers crave adult role models, especially the male variety, but couldn’t find many. In high school and college, baby-boomer offspring were taught ridiculous notions like: there were no differences between males and females - that it was all a social construct foisted upon society by the white male patriarchy for its own purposes. They were taught that the nuclear family is a scheme to perpetuate white male privilege and oppress others.
They were taught the notion that no consensual sexual practice should ever be called wrong. They codified that notion on campuses, in some cities, in some states, and are proposing it nationally. They want outlaw expression of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs regarding sexuality. When Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson dared utter them
last week, they were called “vile” and “lies.” Baby boomers and their offspring are doing this.
The president who epitomizes adolescent narcissism has nearly doubled our national debt, encourages the Federal Reserve to print trillions more dollars with nothing to back them up, violates constitutional limits on presidential power almost weekly, and is destroying the best health-care system in the world. What are the rest of us doing about it? Virtually nothing. Most of us stand by meekly and watch him do it.