Whatever Happened To Values?
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
"values voters? Remember when a political candidate in America had his
true values investigated and open to the sunshine of inspection and
approval -- or disapproval -- by the electorate?
Although it seems like a very long time ago, it hasn't been THAT long ago that the values held by a candidate for political office, especially a conservative candidate, was a really big deal.
a few short years ago, conservatives in America had not been suckered
into to the moral relativism of political correctness, which, as
conservatives, we understood had its birthplace in the deepest, darkest,
dungeons of Hades, itself.
We still looked at a candidate's values, his or her value system, as a window into the very soul of that person.
we dropped our guard and were swept up into the morass of moral
relativism, of all things "gray," into the abyss where nothing is
absolute. And we, too, were lost. We forgot about values and their
immeasurable impact on the individual, on society , on business, on
politics, and on the mores of a people.
what are "values" anyway? Before proceeding -- let me explain that
normally I would not even proffer the question. But considering the
times we live in and the oh, so, obvious lack of "values" today, it struck us that maybe folks really no longer understand what is meant by "values."
put -- "values" is/are the beliefs of a person or social group in which
they have an emotional investment (either for or against something)
Example: One can be for or against abortion, for or against same sex
marriage, for or against socialism, etc.
Values are the deep-seated beliefs that people, institutions, and societies share.
value is a belief, a mission, or a philosophy that is meaningful to
one. Whether we are consciously aware of them or not, every individual
has a core set of personal values. Values can range from the
commonplace, such as the belief in hard work, self-reliance, and
punctuality, to the more psychological, such as concern for others,
trust, and harmony of purpose.
The deepest poise for an
individual, business, or society are its values. When values are
implemented or are newly developed, then outer circumstances can change
ten times faster (and better) than merely trying to change things on the
surface." SOURCE: http://www.gurusoftware.com/GuruNet/ValuesCenter.htm
Upon reflection, it seems to me that we need to inquire of ourselves if values actually change. Have yours? Have mine?
Looking back on well over seven decades of life, the most striking change of all -- to me -- is the change that has taken place in America.
was a time in America when rugged individualism, for instance, was a
value, a core value, upon which no price could be placed. Not so
today! An individualist, rugged or not, is today an unwelcome component
in a group, an organization, a political party, even a religious
denomination. An individualist today is truly "a square peg in a round hole."
America has, over the past 60 years, or so, morphed into something of a "collectivist" society.
I think this change sprang from the socialist inspired student
movements of the 1960s, the environmental and feminist movements, and
the peace and anti-nuclear movements of the 1980s. Each
"movement' acted as a "collective." Everything was a group action
conceived by group-think. Individualism was suppressed.
America's political parties are, today, nothing more than a collection of special interest groups. The "Big Tent" has all but crushed the GOP. Like adding water to soup, one gets more soup, but the soup loses its flavor, its strength, and is soon unpalatable.
Simply put, we find ourselves with political parties that are
confused, without a sense of direction, and quite often impotent. This situation, dear reader, places the country at risk.
was a time, not long ago, when the values of America were clear and
simple: hard work, personal responsibility, family unity, spiritual
strength, patriotism, and believe it or not -- RESPECT for others.
Looking at that list above, one can be forgiven if it seems foreign and alien to what passes for America's values today. There is little resemblance to free-wheeling hedonist values of a declining country in the throes of terminal socialism.
young can be forgiven for believing they are truly free. They can even
be forgiven their lack of values and, to some extent, their
sociopathic/psychopathic attitudes and behavior. From their
earliest days in the American public education system they have been
indoctrinated and trained to become nothing more than useful idiots. At that one thing -- they absolutely excel.
do we reclaim our lost values? I wish I knew. Oh, I could attempt to
bedazzle you with reams of wordage and rhetoric but the truth is -- I simply don't know.
Two things I am fairly certain of, however. One is -- that it will require generations just to get back to square one. And two is -- we'd darn well better get started.
J. D. Longstreet