As most of my regular readers know, I have been hard on the liberal left – - the so-called progressives. Their answer to everything is more government.
But, recently I’ve also begun to question the “conservatives” – the one’s on the far right. What do they stand for?
I suspect they want to go back to a better time – - a time when they knew who they were and where they were going. A time like maybe – - the 1950′s.
I was alive then. I graduated from high school in 1960, so I have some understanding of what’s so appealing about the 1950′s.
The United States was the dominate power in the world. Many of the other countries were still trying to recover from the devastation caused by World War II. The United States was the only real world power – - and there were few to question that dominance.
We seldom saw anyone from another race. We were isolated in our own safe world. Television was just beginning to make itself felt and the news we received over our radio and in our newspaper was dominated by media giants like NBC and CBS.
We knew our place in our town by our gender. Men were expected to work while women were expected to stay home, have babies and raise good children. Most men could find a job that allowed them to support their families – - and while many of them had some higher education – - many others did not.
Women didn’t work outside the home unless they had too – - and then only in secretarial positions or pink collar jobs. And, they were expected to stop working when they got married.
We went to school as children in classrooms where we knew everyone else. No one moved around much in the 1950′s – - so those children you knew were the children you went to school with.
Teachers worked for little pay – - some of them single women looking to eventually get married. And, if they did, they often lost their jobs when they became pregnant.
We didn’t see many children in our classrooms who had emotional or physical problems. There was no “mainstreaming.” Those types of children were taught at home, in special schools, or not at all.
We didn’t worry about the plight of the migrant farm worker – - the segregated south – - the starving children of the Bible Belt or the ghettos of the big Eastern cities. We often didn’t know about them – - and if we did – - it wasn’t our problem.
We were happy in the 1950′s – particularly if we were white and male. We knew our place in the world – - and we liked it.
If – - that’s the definition of the far right’s “conservative views” – - I can see the attraction. I am a white male after all.