Driving along in Shorewood, I noticed a kid on his bike. He was alone, He looked sad. I was mentally transported to my own childhood. I was sad often. My childhood was lonely, desolate, isolating, and I lilterally fed and clothed myself from the age of eight. I shined shoes in taverns, I sang for coins, I did whatever I had to do to exist. That boy on a bike, a kid I knew nothing about, had got me in touch with my own childhood years.
It is easy for adults to chastise kids today who seem to have so much. We over-reach in stating how tough we had it and that "I had to walk ten miles to school, and up-hill both ways." It turns kids off. Yet there is not happiness in toys, trinkets, electronic equipment, etc. And, of course, there are millions of kids in America who have nothing, or worse than nothing. Their lives are filled with fear. They see violence all around them. They either cower in the corner, or they act out themselves in order to survive.
Yes, I am sad for these kids. Actually, I feel a certain amount of sadness for all kids in the U.S. today. Because of the no-tax mantra, they have had the arts and humanities ripped from their lives. Art is a shell of what it once was in the curriculum. Teaching about ethics, aesthetics, egalitarianism, good deeds, peace, neighborliness, acceptance-not-bigotry, tolerance, labor, sharing, etc. are considered too political and therefore taken away from kids in school. Music? Given short shrift. We have literally stolen from our own children for our own shallow vision and ignorant selfishness. We think we are doing our kids a favor by depriving them of what made the United States of America a great nation. With all the civil rights legislation we are so proud of, many black kids in the inner city today have it worse then many black kids in many of the inner cities of my childhood years.
Talk to admissions people in today's colleges. They will tell you that kids, even from affluent high schools, are entering without even rudimenatry knowledge or the basics of a decent education. While we were so busy gathering material things, we ignored what makes our kids educated. Selfishness abounds in today's youngsters because of the selfishness of their parents. We have cheated them, taken the tools for education away, and substituted machines and philosophies and love of the M.B.A. to help them make more money. That is the opposite of education. That is prostituting education. That has led to our failure as parents and adults. That was caused by our failure as citizens who have been given the responsibility to educate the young.
Here is today's American motto: I've got mine, too bad about you.
We are sinking, folks. America is sinking. But we do not have all the taxes like those single-payer "socialist countries" like Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc. And we think we are right to have a one-trick chant: no new taxes! We are not ready for the 21st century, and we are being over-run by nations that know better. Our schools need help, but how can you help when tax referendums for schools get voted down? How can we truly EDUCATE our kids when we deprive them of culture? What are we teaching them when we allow big corporations to gouge us yet close libraries and museums? The ignorant have inherited the United States of America, and by God they are not going to spend money to correct it. Let the planet and our nation go to hell! They've got their principles as a committed Christians and dedicated conservatives.