Over the past several years–some say it started with my generation–the children of parents from World War II–treasured American standards have continued to be lowered. Some argue it is not lowering of standards but keeping up with the times. I do not agree.
Keeping up with the times is having school history classes that include recent history. Keeping up with the times includes knowing how to use the internet, e-mail and all the other off-shoots like Texting, Facebook, Twitter and their ilk. Keeping up with the times is reading the news off computers or smart phones.
But none of those actions directly require a change in lowered standards unless one uses those new tools for the wrong purposes. Sadly, many people do.
No one with a brain can argue that many motion pictures produced today are not a result of lowering of standards. The amount of profanity, sexual, violent and criminal activity portrayed on the screen is a result of lowered standards. But those are just movies you say, not real life. Do they portray real life or does real life take a clue and copy them? Are most movies pure fantasy produced to sell tickets because they take the viewers to forbidden places? Or do they influence since what is being shown may exist in real life it is not that bad?
This is not to take on movies, but rather use them as one major example of lowered standards. Much of the material accessible off the internet falls into the same class. Others are in the news all the time. Presumably you have listened to radio lately. Tell me that much of what is said on talk shows now would not have been a firing offense in the 1970s. Of course, the difference was that in the 1970s no one would have even considered saying what routinely comes out of the radio speakers now.
We have had speed limits on our roads and highways for years. Now some would like to eliminate them on selected stretches of rural highway. The limits were established for safety and at one time to cut fuel use. Certainly not everyone followed the law. Some had accidents as a result. Others did not. But the standards set kept the highways from being lawless no man’s land.
We have had laws against drug use for years. Now many are advocating the repeal of restrictions on the use of marijuana citing many studies. But it is still a drug. Perhaps not more dangerous than alcohol. But alcohol use is legal up to a limit. Why lower standards by allowing another drug to be legal?
In college athletics there are those that think big time sports colleges are taking advantage of the athletes that play games for them by selling jerseys and filling stadiums. Those athletes should get a share of the proceeds they say. Why I say? They are being granted something thousands of legitimate students usually with far better academic credentials would dream of–a full scholarship.
Would it not be better to prevent the schools from making ancillary revenue off players photos or jerseys? Given that there have been many violations of the college rules for eligibility over the years it is still supposed to be amateur athletics. Why should the standards be lowered for a selected group of players at a selected number of schools by paying them or allowing them to sell their name while still enrolled?
A long lasting society must have rules and laws that serve for the betterment of the majority of the population. Once the standards start to be lowered there can reach a point where there are no standards at all and that society ceases to exist.
A book could probably be written on this subject as I have ignored so many other examples, from education to the “everybody wins” attitude in youth sports to some of the programs designed to help less fortunate that ultimately doom them to that class forever.
I am a child (HS and College) of the 60s but never shared the views of any of the hippies, war protesters or radicals of that time. Most of them failed to recognize that human nature is what it is. No movements or politics can ever totally change that. Even though it is not perfect the United States remains the best country in the world. That is, as long as we stop lowering standards.