Thursday, March 12, 2009

Generational Dysfunction 2

Writing my first blog entry was an interesting experience. What started out as a type of "diary" entry began to morph as I realized that I was really writing to an audience, however small. You're probably thinking "Duh, what do you think a blog is?" But you see, I am not a trained writer. My background is mainly in accounting. What I usually write is very technical in nature and directed toward a specific audience in accounting. Now I am choosing to delve into something that is quite different in nature. Not only am I committed to improving my writing efforts, I am going to take on an examination of the current political and economic environment. I was going to delete my first blog, but have left it up for perspective.

I really believe something that Rush Limbaugh said: "Most people's historical perspective starts the day they were born." Learning history always seemed like drudgery when I was in school. Learning all those events and dates seemed like an exercise in torture. It's only been since I've gotten older that I've learned that history teaches us a lot that can be applied to today. Taken within the context of what Rush said, my history is certainly gaining in perspective with each passing year. What follows is a little bit of that perspective.

I was looking at 2000 Census data (I know that sounds stupid, but I get drawn to countless things while perusing the Internet) and decided to do some analysis. Approximately 61% of the current voting population was not old enough to vote for Ronald Reagan. 25% were probably not old enough to be aware of his performance in office. 42% were probably not old enough to be aware of Jimmy Carter's performance in office. In other words, an awful lot of voters in last year's election did not really have a historical perspective of life under Ronald Reagan or any other President before him.

Given that I hated learning history, let's assume that the above 42% probably didn't much enjoy learning history either. (To be honest, I'm sure a certain portion of that population did enjoy learning history, but what did they really learn in today's classroom?) The only thing that they truly "know" is what their personal, historical perspective has taught them. Think about our political and economic climate after Reagan. The Cold War ended, and our economy was booming. To extend that historical perspective even more, let's look at some other statistics.

I bought my first house when I was 26 years old. Let's assume that the same life-event holds true for the population we identified above. During the Clinton years, the housing boom took off when the Justice Department placed a certain "emphasis" [sic] on banks participating in the Carter-initiated "Community Reinvestment Act." Of the current voting population, 42% were 26 years old or younger when Clinton took office in 1992 . Basically, they have never known an environment where you were required to put 20% down before you bought a house. That's what I had to do when I bought my first house. Those were the rules we had to live by and, so-be-it, it worked.

Now, consider the economic and political environment at the beginning of last year. A huge chunk of the voting population (33%) was in the age range of first-time home buyers that had never known a mortgage requirement of 20% down. The housing industry had been booming for almost 20 years. 42% of the voting population had no personal awareness of the economic OR political environment prior to Reagan's re-election. The economy had been on an upward trajectory ever since he left office, barring the aftermath of 911. (Unfortunately, his economic policies never did manifest themselves again on the Presidential stage.) The concepts of political conservatism became bogged down in populism and were continuously degraded in every venue imaginable (except talk radio and conservative blogs, but that's another post). What we had was a perfect storm leading into the 2008 elections and one that did not favor conservatism.

The daily derision of conservatism in the mainstream media and their vilification of Bush, McCain-Palin and the Republican Party had a stunning effect. 42% of the voting population had no understanding of an alternative approach to the economic "crisis". Liberal economic policies relating to the mortgage industry were completely embedded in the psyche of all those potential voters. Liberal ideology became the "defacto" choice of a fawning mainstream media. McCain was doomed the second he won the Republican nomination. A huge chunk of the voting population had no historical perspective to evaluate an alternative direction to what they were being force-fed by the mainstream media. And McCain was deemed "stale".

What happened has, well, happened. We now have to look at what caused this mess. I truly believe that because we are not teaching the principles of our Constitution in school, we are destroying the principles on which that Constitution was based. We do not teach American history in a way that allows our youth to truly understand what this country's collective experience has been. We do not allow our youth to extend their historical perspective beyond the date of their birth. There is a reason that we are the most prosperous country in the history of man. There is a reason that the framers of the Constitution incorporated the belief in God in all their deliberations.

We have to demand that our children are educated in history. In addition, we have to take responsibility to educate those that have already passed through our pathetic educational system. Our lives and those of our children are slowly being degraded by an ideology that our country was not founded on. That ideology is know by any number of descriptions: Liberalism, Socialism, Communism, Humanism, Atheism, etc. It must be eliminated from our culture if we are to ever become the country that our Founders dreamed of: one that was committed to "form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity...".

You can learn more about the Constitution here:

It is certainly worth the read.

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