Is America a better place today than it was back in 1956? Of course many Americans living right now couldn’t even imagine a world without cell phones, Facebook or cable television, but was life really so bad back then?
60 years ago, families would actually spend time on their front porches and people would actually have dinner with their neighbors. 60 years ago, cars were still cars, football was still football and it still meant something to be an American. In our country today, it is considered odd to greet someone as they are walking down the street, and if someone tries to be helpful it is usually because they want something from you. But things were very different in the middle of the last century. Men aspired to be gentlemen and women aspired to be ladies, and nobody had ever heard of “bling”, “sexting” or “twerking”. Of course life was far from perfect, but people actually had standards and they tried to live up to them.
So how did it all go so wrong?
Could it be possible that life in America peaked back then and we have been in decline ever since?
Before you answer, I want to share with you a list of comparisons between life in America in 1956 and life in America in 2016…
In 1956, John Wayne, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe were some of the biggest stars in the entertainment world.
In 2016, our young people look up to “stars” like Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.
In 1956, Americans were watching I Love Lucy and The Ed Sullivan Show on television.
In 1956, you could buy a first-class stamp for just 3 cents.
In 2016, a first-class stamp will cost you 49 cents.
In 1956, gum chewing and talking in class were some of the major disciplinary problems in our schools.
In 2016, many of our public schools have been equipped with metal detectors because violence has gotten so far out of control.
In 1956, children went outside and played when they got home from school.
In 2016, our parks and our playgrounds are virtually empty and we have the highest childhood obesity rate on the entire planet.
In 1956, if a kid skinned his knee he was patched up and sent back outside to play.
In 2016, if a kid skins his knee he is likely to be shipped off to the emergency room.
In 1956, “introducing solids” to a baby’s diet may have meant shoving a piece of pizza down her throat.
In 2016, we have “attachment parenting” which advocates treating children like babies almost until they reach puberty.
In 1956, seat belts and bicycle helmets were considered to be optional pieces of equipment, and car safety seats were virtually unknown.
In 2016, millions of us are afraid to leave our homes for fear that something might happen to us, and if something does happen we slap lawsuits on one another at the drop of a hat.
In 1956, many Americans regularly left their cars and the front doors of their homes unlocked.
In 2016, many Americans live with steel bars on their windows and gun sales are at all-time record highs.
In 1956, about 5 percent of all babies in America were born to unmarried parents.
In 2016, more than 40 percent of all babies in America will be born to unmarried parents.
In 1956, one income could support an entire middle class family.
In 2016, approximately one-third of all Americans don’t make enough money to even cover the basics even though both parents have entered the workforce in most households.
In 1956, redistribution of wealth was considered to be something that “the communists” did.
In 2016, the federal government systematically redistributes our wealth, and two communists are fighting for the Democratic nomination.
In 1956, there were about 2 million people living in Detroit and it was one of the greatest cities on Earth.
In 2016, there are only about 688,000 people living in Detroit and it has become a joke to the rest of the world.
In 1956, millions of Americans dreamed of moving out to sunny California.
In 2016, millions of Americans are moving out of California and never plan to go back.
In 1956, television networks would not even show husbands and wives in bed together.
In 2016, there is so much demand for pornography that there are more than 4 million adult websites on the Internet, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.
In 1956, the American people had a great love for the U.S. Constitution.
In 2016, “constitutionalists” are considered to be potential terrorists by the U.S. government.
In 1956, people from all over the world wanted to come to the United States to pursue “the American Dream”.
In 2016, 48 percent of all U.S. adults under the age of 30 believe that “the American Dream is dead”.
In 1956, the United States loaned more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.
In 2016, the United States owes more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.
And there is one more thing that I would like to share with you before I wrap up this article.
This is what the New York skyline looked like on March 31st, 1956…
And this is the kind of thing that we are seeing displayed on the Empire State Building these days…
For those that don’t know, that is an image of the Hindu goddess of death, time and destruction known as Kali. And next month a reproduction of the 48-foot-tall arch that stood in front of the Temple of Baal in Palmyra, Syria is going up in Times Square.
So now that you have seen what I have to share, what do you think?
Has America changed for the better, or has it changed for the worse?
Are you one of the baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964? How did you survive without government intervention?
Their mothers smoked and/or drank while pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, they were put to sleep on their tummies in baby cribs covered with brightly colored, lead-based paints.
There were no childproof lids on medicine or special locks on cabinet doors.
They rode bikes, we wore baseball caps, not specially engineered helmets.
As infants, they rode in cars without car seats or booster seats, no seat belts and no air bags. Sometimes, as tots, they rode in small moving boxes packed with blankets and toys.
They rode in the back of pickup trucks and no one was arrested or cited.
They drank water from garden hoses, not from plastic bottles.
They shared a single bottle of Coca-Cola with three friends — and no one died.
They ate cupcakes with food coloring, white bread, real butter and bacon. In fact, we drank Kool-Aid mixed with tablespoons of real sugar.
Yet they weren’t overweight, because we were always outside playing.
They would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as they were back when dusk fell. And no one was able to reach them all day. And: they were okay.
They spend hours in the forest with Daisy rifles, or building go-carts without brakes, or sledding with wooden and steel monstrosities that could sever a limb.
They didn’t have Playstations, Nintendo’s and X-Boxes. There were no video games, no cable television, no DVD players. There were no computers, no web, no Facebook, no Twitter.
They had friends and we went outside and found them… without cell phones or text messages.
They fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits resulting from these accidents. They ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in them forever.
They were given BB guns and knives for their birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, played lawn darts and, although they were told it would happen, they did not put out many eyes.
They rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.
The boomers have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, inventors and entrepreneurs ever.
The last 50 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
They had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and they learned how to deal with it.
Then they started reading this…
that opposed this.
and gave up everything for this.