In the first two installments of this three-part part series we identified problems associated with the current cultural climate in the United States. It is an atmosphere of adolescent downward mobility caused by an education system that is turning out imbeciles. The proof of that in the pop culture, media, and academia is plain to see. And always, eventually, the cultural becomes the political.
It’s part of a trend that started in the 1960s of what might be called the infantilization of America, i.e.- substituting the hysterical emotions of childhood for reasoned discourse and debate. It is not limited to one party or one ideology. So the larger question is: Can America recover its cultural adulthood? I think it can, but only by certain measures.
These ideas are not panaceas that will bring about cultural or political paradise. But restoring adulthood to our national fabric may bring about change that would be beneficial. In essence, in many ways, I propose to reverse engineer the 1960s. What we strive for a is a reasonable society made up of responsible adults who seek the cultural and intellectual high ground. The Eisenhower Years, a sequel. This is how.
1. Raise the voting age- We gain wisdom through life experience. 18 year olds don’t have much of either. Neither do we generally find it in those in their 20s. With exceptions for military, police, and firefighters, raise the voting age to 30. More mature voters would make better decisions based on life’s realities, not on the theoretical musings of college professors or the passions of youth. Also, if we want more adult government then raise the minimum age requirement to be elected to the House to 30, the Senate to 40, and the presidency to 45. This way prospective politicians can learn something about life before they attempt to govern the rest of us.
2. Break the Teachers Unions- We are graduating functioning and non-functioning illiterates from secondary schools all over this country because they are being taught by people who see themselves first as union members and not as educators. Thus, they are a prime mover in the cultural degradation of this nation. They substitute ideology and indoctrination for fact. These are not adult traits. Emotionally and intellectually hysterical children and cannot successfully teach other children. Their predominantly left wing politics seem to mean more to them than reasoned and adult discourse, hence the fights in places like Chicago between parents, teachers unions, and city government. The unions, out of avarice and power hunger, only make the cultural and intellectual situation worse. Break them.
3. Repeal the 17th Amendment, the direct election of US senators- For a large part of our nation’s history US senators were chosen by state legislators, not directly by voters. Before 1913, it made them a true upper house not pressured by the hysteria of the moment. It encouraged sober long term decision making, not daily photo ops for members of only a supercharged House. Returning to that would turn down the volume and passions of every day politics and put an emphasis back on deliberation, not showboating. It would be the adult thing to do.
These have only been snippets of a possible American renaissance. Some details, but far from all. The urgent necessity must be to do something to return to national adulthood. If we don’t we will, in due course, no longer have an America worth living in.