I was reading The Bookwormroom – the post was on the old Highlights for Children – and I started thinking about how much everything had changed over my lifetime. In her post, she contrasted the former children’s magazine, that tried to enlighten children about expected behaviors, in the cartoons Goofus and Gallant, that contrasted their actions in an effort to demonstrate how to act decently to others. There were stories, and mazes, and other simple puzzles for the slightly literate. And, for the beginning reader, there were rebuses – they combined graphics and letters, and enabled early readers to make sense of a story.
The new Highlights is, apparently, dreadfully Woke. Just another example of an institution that cannot be counted upon to pass on our cultural norms.
We’ve lost a lot of them. Like most people, I wasn’t paying attention at first – too busy with family, concerns about finances (inflation was killing us), and other things. Life was moving fast, and there never seemed to be time to do much more than look at the headlines for The Truth (yeah, I know, I was very young).
Later, when I returned to work, I had even less time. My kids were teens and that kept me hopping, my parents were aging, and I just ignored anything that wasn’t a crisis at the moment.
I was a reliable Liberal at the time, a sure Democrat vote. Hell, I wasn’t even upset when Slick Willie beat the Senate trial after his Impeachment, although I did have a twinge of doubt about the trashing of Monica’s reputation. Clinton had clearly stepped over some invisible line, and I just couldn’t be happy about the outcome. In that, I was the outlier in my group.
Until 9/11, the day that my world upended, and I began to question all of my assumptions. It’s been a long road since then, and I’ve long wondered – How the Hell Did This Happen?
Today, I knew.
We did it.
We, who knew better, failed to protest abuses and protect vulnerable populations.
Yeah. It IS our fault.
See, the voter fraud was a well-known “secret”. We saw the numbers come in for the machine Democrats in the cities, and we knew the vote was being rigged. But, we didn’t fight for an honest vote.
Because it wasn’t our problem. Because it only happened in the places where minorities were present. In the suburbs, the small towns, and the rural places – heck, even in the slightly smaller cities – the vote was fair (as far as we knew).
So, some Black people got fools and crooks for mayors and councilmen and representatives. Who cared?
It affected me somewhat, but not that much. So, I shrugged off the corruption. Walked away from obvious fraud. Ignored the wholesale creation of votes from imaginary people. Ignored the chaos that made of the lives of human beings who deserved better than rule by kleptocrats and thugs.
Because I didn’t really care, America has turned into a 3rd World Banana Republic, complete with nepotism, dictatorial edicts, and federal functionaries that have no hesitation in clamping down on protests and incarcerating them without a trial.
And, it sucks.
We may have to roll up our sleeves, wade into the swill, and spend most of the rest of our lives clearing out the Augean Stables. It would be fair.
Our indifference created this mess.