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Opinion: American values (then and now)

It goes without saying that we are a nation that is seriously, some might say fatally, divided by political allegiance. There was a time when there was little difference between Republican and Democratic ideals.

Several decades ago, regardless of which party was in power, we supported it. Most Democrats got behind Eisenhower (a Republican) and, as we entered the next decade, most Republicans were enamored by a young John F. Kennedy (a Democrat) who foresaw a future so bright that he promised that we’d put a man on the moon before the decade was over. Now, it’s been more than half a century since that event, and no one has set foot on our natural satellite since.

So, what happened? I think it’s inarguable that an unpopular war in Vietnam and the resulting “Hippie” revolution has had an indelible effect on the national psyche. Walk into any mall or down any main street in any city and you’ll see women of every social class walking around in torn jeans, some off the rack at Walmart, others with expensive designer labels. In the past, teachers wore suits or dresses, personal pronouns matched the designation on one’s birth certificate, and parents didn’t have to hold their breaths while their kids were in school.



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