Part Seven: Was I right in 1994? Am I right in 2013?


Part Seven: Was I right in 1994?  Am I right in 2013?

These are not easy questions to answer.

No matter what your conclusion, you will be told by many that you are flat-out wrong. As Thoreau once said: “You will be flogged for your nonconformity”,  in this case by the liberal, permissive spirit of our times.

You can expect be ridiculed and belittled, or perhaps vilified, if you do not go along with the crowd. You will need the courage of your convictions in order to stand your ground against critics who will thusly assail you if you choose to speak the truth you know.

But courage of convictions alone is insufficient. What are the bases of your convictions? Do you have a broad and comprehensive enough sample of the experiences and data resources necessary to substantiate your convictions. It is not enough to have strong convictions; can you support them in a rational data-based manor?

I have recently re-surveyed much of data that I evaluated starting in 1984, in order to reach my conclusions that were published in my 1994 newspaper article. There were a few improvements in the data-base I used, but they were not reassuring. Regretfully,  I have found more reasons than before to reinforce my grave concerns both then and now.

For example, the violent crime rate has declined. However, This is likely because we are keeping serious criminals in jail for longer prison terms (the three strikes and your-out-law), in the face of increased violent crime levels of vastly more citizens have now armed themselves with guns and also our aging population will naturally become somewhat less violent.

 Teenage pregnancies are reduced, but contraception is more available and increased rates of oral/anal sex is occurring at younger ages. Also, pregnancies among unmarried young woman have increased.

Child abuse is reported to have been reduced: I do not believe it. As a referring psychologist I know that CPS is stressed to the max and  overwhelmed with reports of neglect and abuse. With my reporting experiences, fewer cases are being “substantiated” because the           standards of proof have been raised.

Other measure of sociocultural health have improved very little or they have gotten worse.

Make your own observations, do your own research, Goggle the data on typical social indicators of cultural health and see what they teach you.

Also, ask yourselves the following:

Note that the reference point for “in the past”, or “before”, is 1994. The reference point for the 1994 assessment was the 1960 and before.

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Is home life for our children more secure?

Is their academic performance better than it has been in the past?

Do our children know America’s history and understand our Founding Father’s dream of an enduring Constitutional Republic?

Can they intelligently discuss the pros and cons of Capitalism and   our Constitutional Republic in contrast to other available forms of government?

 

Are our children less drug and sex involved?

Are our families more stable than in the past?

Is our media less sexualized, violent, profane and more respectful of others than in the past?      

 

Is marriage as popular as it once was?

Is cohabitation and children out of wed-lock up or down?

Is our population as dedicated to morality and personal responsibility as it was?

 

Are you safer in your homes, communities, and during travel that you  once were?

Are moral and religious influences growing or diminishing?

Are we placing more or fewer citizens in our jails and prisons?

How is our economy doing?

Are our poverty rates for adults and children diminishing?

 

Keep an eye on our fertility rates. They have been dropping since these data were first collected. If it were not for immigration (legal and illegal) we would be below replacement rates with dire social, economic consequences and geopolitical troubles on the way. How precarious is our position with regard to population fertility?

How can a welfare state care for the infirmed, poverty stricken, indigent and aged without a large and vibrant youthful working class?

Do we enjoy more personal freedoms now than before?

Are American citizens more cohesive and dedicated to mutual respect  and support than before?

Is America’s place as a leader in the world as strong and secure as it     was?

Is the American currency as strong and secure as it was?

Is our Military as strong and secure as it was?

Can we trust our political leaders and our news media as once did?

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My list things-to-consider when evaluating the state of America’s socioculture is not exhaustive. I hope you will add to this list in your own evaluative process.

In my judgment the health and viability of America is badly impaired, and I fear that the worst is yet to come. I cannot tell you how sorry I am to have been forced by the evidence, over the past three decades, to this sad conclusion.

I hope you will soon take a couple of hours, get to your computer and gather your own data, upon which to base your judgments. Be careful not to “cherry pick”. Sample a wide variety of data sources and judge the strength of the preponderance of the evidence.       

Then, if you then share my grave concerns, please go and do whatever you can to improve America’s chances for survival.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.,   2/17/2013

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