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From the Editor's Desk...
12/28/98

Unbelievable.... Christmas here and gone and New Year's Eve is right on the doorstep. This has to be the fastest year I've seen yet. What, in the order of significance, have we seen in the past year? To generalize we've seen greed, avarice and immorality magnified to the highest levels ever seen in public. No, I have no desire to place blame in any one singular direction but I will say that with the new "liberal" language and sexually explicit situation depictions, both in comedy and drama on television, during prime time have certainly contributed to and most definitely condoned the actions depicted and off-color language used. Is this really what the writers must resort to in obtaining ratings?

In the years gone by, TV was able to garner the same percentages of viewers with shows and movies that were far less (in plain language) filthy and filled with obscene innuendo and gutter talk. Why are we forced to endure these toilet mouths during prime time? I am not in favor of indiscriminate censorship but I am in favor of allowing our children the opportunity to mature at a natural pace. Nowadays, its fairly obvious they're being stampeded into adult situations while still using children's levels of wisdom and social experience. Today's headlines easily prove this.

The most disturbing factor is that today's children are merely reflections of ourselves. After all, none are born with any type of convictions about society or family values. The three major influences in the growth of children, both mentally and physically, approximately ten to fifteen years ago used to be in this order;

  • Family

  • Church

  • School

  • Peer Pressure

  • Government

In recent times, two of the categories have merged into one they're School and Government. So henceforth we'll call that category government. Oddly enough the other categories have survived but their roles have dramatically changed. First the order of their importance as far as levels of influence are concerned.

  • Government

  • Peer Pressure

  • Entertainment

  • Family

  • Church (Occasional)

Please note the order of importance, influence-wise, that our children and grandchildren must endure as they grow up. In the last twenty years, I have watched the school system go from BAD to WORSE. Teachers today, although underpaid, are in most cases nothing more than adult hall monitors. Most seem to seek the "easy way out" at every turn i.e.; declaring unruly or hard to handle children as "requiring Ritalin to continue in school". What ever became of the dedicated teachers we all saw in the forties, fifties and sixties? A time when those children who were considered problems both in the positive and negative manner, (positive - fast learners and doers, negative - behavioral problems), were given the needed attention and usually graduated with honors. Are those days really gone forever? Are our nation's school systems destined to graduating batches upon batches of chemical dependent, walking, talking organisms we will be calling tomorrow's leaders?

Next, we see the government making gains in influencing the manner in which your children mature.  Its almost as if there is an overall plan of controlling the development of children all through their lives.  Sort of like a control system from the womb to the tomb. These things could never come to pass if one or both parents were able to spend more time with their children.  But today's heavily structured and taxed society dictates that both parents must work long hours simply to survive.   Government is so deeply involved in controlling our daily lives that we, as a people, are slowly slipping into the future as "Droid-like" living organisms.   Its not too late to improve this situation, all it takes is getting everyone out to vote in the next elections. 

Then comes the examples of civility, morality and character we, as adults, and those in government, as leaders, provide for the children of today. From the President on down to the cop on the beat, our children are encouraged to observe and learn from what they see. Clinton's behavior as outrageous as it seems is not "new" to most youngsters. All one need do is consider how many times they've peeked in on "Mommy and Daddy". Or, got the opportunity to watch some of the rather explicit programming on cable at a friend's or even their own homes. Sexuality is a normal part of growing up and the accompanying curiosity is always going to be there.

In the case of egomaniacal politicians, crooked politicians and crooked or egomaniacal cops, from the Feds on down to the "Beat Cops", there is no real curiosity on the part of observing kids. In today's social environment, they merely grow up with it and consider such happenings as "part of life". Is this sad or what? For example, and this is an excellent example as far as social studies is concerned. We recently saw government at work (re: Clinton).. I know I hoped that children, worldwide, would see democracy at its best. Democracy at work, representing the people, moving government forward and making decisions that the children, tomorrow's leaders, would easily see as having been done with the voice of the people in mind and the nation's future being enhanced.

Did the world's children see these things? I don't think so. Maybe you feel they did. If so let me know how. In any case, in my opinion, I feel the children saw a pack of rabid, bloodthirsty hyenas charging forward for Clinton's head while openly admitting they had ignored the obvious majority public opinion and wishes. The public literally begged and then demanded moderation on the part of the lame duck congress. The public demanded censure, the Partisan (one-sided) Republican Congress, led by the Republican Judicial Committee, pushed through a pair of ridiculous articles of impeachment. Whatever... became of government by, for and of the people. This past congress will spend and eternity trying to answer that question.

For the children, they have been force fed a strong lesson in how one cannot "buck city hall". Person after person demanded censure, their voices were heard from coast to coast carrying their wishes of censure instead of impeachment yet congress insultingly ignored the vast majority. Good example of how power corrupts. Of course, many now feel its the "far right" of the GOP that's caused all the problems. To me, that's simply a poor excuse. The children have seen this occur, the damage is done.. they now know how easy it is for the government to do its thing regardless of the electorate's wishes.

Those of us who are sincerely concerned must now aim for more voter participation especially among the younger voters. They're the ones most insulted, injured and "turned-off" by the GOP's actions and behavior. This damage done in the confidence the young adults of this nation have in its government must be overcome. They must, once again, try to believe in the power of the vote they have to offer. If we do not re-kindle the desire to vote in our young people, then we are all condemned to many more congresses like the very sick ones we have been forced to endure for the last ten years and especially this very last congress that chose to ignore the voice of the people.

 

 

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