A pondering about how America changed in my lifetime
Growing up in 1960’s and 70’s in a large family that had respect for everything, and everything was an adventure or learning experience. My parents never worried about how I far traveled from home, because it was safe back then. Adults looked out for every kid and was not afraid to tell them when they were out of line. Everyone kept their sidewalk clear and home clean. Everyone could walk or ride your bicycle as far as needed year round. Home town America after Normal Rockwell.
I served in the US Navy during the cold war. Worked at a shipbuilder after that and served as a Scoutmaster, while raising my daughters. I fly my flag proudly.
Early real life experiences I remember first hand; President being shot (JFK), Vietnam War and withdrawal, Nixon elected twice and resignation, EPA creation because of Love canal, Cuyahoga River fire, Lake Erie dying, even the local river was off limits it was so polluted. There were racial riots in Detroit and elsewhere. The world was in chaos and did my part to save my corner of the world. In Boy Scouts I helped with many cleanup efforts and community projects, that eventually I got to canoe down that river. At scout camp I met the first person of color I got to know and he was a very great guy, my first experience with news vs real life.
So what caused the changes from the nostalgic post WWII era of peace and love, when we made great strides in environment awareness (EPA) equality (MLK) and much more?
We use to have true patriots, servants of the people, that believe in our country, like our founding fathers that created our foundation that stands today. Every change and law that chisels away at that is an assault on my rights and freedoms, and my vision of America. Our elected representatives then actually cared about people and issues. Now with the Citizens United ruling, corporations are sponsoring elected people on many local, state, and federal levels. When you vote for a candidate, you have no idea who is sponsoring them, what corporation or industry they are actually paid to vote for. If this is allowed to continue, in my opinion, the rich will rule more and destroy American freedom till they have all the control.
America was once a leader in peace joining world wars only when necessary, wining them and being done in less than a decade. It is well documented that we got involved in Vietnam because it was good for business and strengthened the defense industrial base. But we still have bases in Japan, all over Europe, and today in Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan. So we went from a colony of England, to what? NATO Police Force? If the full truth was told are we really welcomed there? And if we are, why am I paying for it with my taxes? Hence we are no longer the saviors of two world wars. In the world view we are something close to colonialist. Nothing I signed on to.
In science we excelled once, creating and invented the most cool stuff like the microwave, transistor, microchip, internet, etc., and of course Atomic power, Space exploration, etc.. When I was a kid, it seemed like they made something new every day. Some, gadget or idea, like every day was Christmas. Now it seems like everything is made elsewhere, only the idea may have come from America.
I remember a great America that when to the moon, lead the creation of the ISS (international space station), gained equality among its people, the people cleaned up the environment and held companies responsible, and got told stories by the greatest generation that defeated Japan and Nazis. What will my grandchildren inherit?