Among the Baby Boomer generation, there must be two (2) major missions we agree to undertake before we pass out of sight.
We are all that remains of “the taught”, so practically speaking we have until our generation passes away to set aright some things we either left unattended for, or never really bothered with in the first place.
If we leave this mission up to the next generation, only half our size, we will have to concede the erasure of the history of who are that awaits our grandchildren.
It’s all about the teaching.
You see, we’re the last generation that was fully taught. Ever since, every year, fewer young Americans are actually taught about the shoulders they stand on, historically, culturally and morally, and only then if they are lucky enough to receive a private education at a grandparent’s knee, an encouragement to read from a teacher, or be part of a church family.
Such things are no longer encouraged, even considered unseemly.
Now, my generation spanned 20 years, 1945-1964. So, since I’m at the front end of my generation (1945) I see this coming holocaust with more urgency that our back end Boomers, born as late as 1964 according to demographers. They would only be in their mid-50s right now, with 20-30 good years in front of them. But they are also less likely to have been “taught” as we old Doo-Woppers” were, since the growing reach of government captured their educations, from the mid-60s on, restricting their ability to be taught to think for themselves.
I credit Barack Obama and the Clinton crime syndicate at least as much as Donald Trump for turning on the light bulb in my generation’s mind and pushing our recall buttons about things we were taught (more than read) that caused us to sit up straight and notice that all those things we were taught by our parents and grandparents, as well as in Sunday School, church, but especially in the public schools….were no longer being taught.
All those histories and shared moral beliefs are in serious jeopardy of being erased from memory by the simple process of allowing each older generation to die in its time. You do the math, assuming that Baby Boomers were 80% taught (public schools and church), while my sons, Gen X, were only 60% taught, then Millennials, no more than 40%, and the newest crop Gen Z, my grandchildren, closer to 20%.
I take no great comfort in knowing that my grandsons will be only among the 20%, when I was among the 80, while being taught the same things.
This should scare the hell out of you.
In fact, it has, for our modern “Tea Party” are made up of the same sort of conglomeration of social ranks as comprised Sam Adams’ Sons of Liberty in 1770, from lawyers to store clerks, farmers and dock workers. To my amazement, as I was a rather smug A student about academics in high school, I noted that the C students I watched fiddling with their pencils, doodling, looking out the window, were, by the most miraculous process, still being taught as they daydreamed. Only didn’t know it.
Neither did they, until, in the Obama years, those buried latent memories came rushing to the front parts of their brains, and they, almost in unison, straightened up, and said, “This ain’t right.”
The rest is history. And just in time.
I haven’t figured out the process yet, but it was a combination of word association, enthusiasm and relevance, but most of all a kind of receptivity which probably came down to us from the ancients, for it seems that the Indians, the Celts and all the pagan tribes, before writing, had people who could recite from memory hundreds of pages of stories and lessons without their ever once having been reduced to writing.
And all their people just listened.
One of the most ancient of lost arts is just telling things while others listen.
This only dawned on me later in life what the empty noggin can absorb when, in my late 40s, I was lucky enough to teach several classrooms of young black mothers about American history and how our government was structured, and why it is relevant in their lives…news they could use…in the new world that were about to enter, just off AFDC and with a brand new job.
These are the “deplorables” who, in 2010, sat up straight in their easy chair, looked around and the fog cleared from their senses and they knew exactly what they were seeing taking place; the displacement and replacement of their uniqueness on this planet as Americans; their from 3-to-12 generation handshake with the prior generations on whose shoulders they stand upon, especially now that they have swaddled the next two generations that are coming after them, as most of my generation has done.
My half of my generation, the half that is over 65, has seen this light more clearly. Probably from changing the diapers of that second generation. Even 10th grade dropouts can figure the math on the diminishing demographics of the generations going forward.
And we know that the Left knows all the laws of being taught as well, for they learned them from us. They knew 50 years ago that when a child is still a blank slate, and full of wonderment, around 10 or so, is the best time to plant seeds. They learned from Sunday Schools who first taught the amazing events of Genesis at that age for they knew that when they reached the age of cynicism by 16, like “Where did Adam’s sons find wives if there were no women?”, rather than reject the Book of Genesis they would simply file it away as one of God’s grand mysteries.
All the Left had to do was get to those 10 years first, especially in public schools, which they had effectively done by the mid 1970s. Then in the public square by making it less and less cool socially to be a church-going family.
Over a period of years, at least 40 now, they would slowly replace “old fashioned” patriotism-centered elementary and high school teachers with indoctrinated teachers. It was a slow process. I know 50 year old school teachers with 25 years in-service who refuse to retire because they know what’s waiting to replace them. But it eventually will happen.
At the university level, those professor positions are also being overtaken, department by department, based on how quickly the colleges can promote the most promising students into graduate programs in History, Sociology, Psychology, Feminist and Race studies (which didn’t exist when I was in university). That process is well ahead of schedule. The power of the professors is legend, for only by their say-so are the best-and-brightest ever to be able to move ahead professionally. They are the ones who are totally in charge of even determining who the “best and brightest” are, who the “in group” will be as well as the “out”.
America, as the rarest gem in the world, is nowhere to be found in what they teach.
Our last Commission: It is time for a Crusade
From where the sun now stands I will spend the rest of my days in this endeavor, only, not entirely from this platform.
We can kick the slats out of the Left politically for the next 5 years, or even longer, but they know they can simply go into their basements, set up little clandestine propaganda wars, and await our passing. My half of my generation should be around little more than a decade. In the meantime, their institutional control will generally continue to grow.
In other writings I’ve outlined ways to blight their path, even make them fearful of going to work. I’m doing a short set on what we can learn from the Algerian rebels in their war of independence against the French in the 1950s. (A student of the Crusades, it’s often been difficult for me to choose between Muslims and the French.)
In still other places we discuss how veterans can bridge that American Exceptionalism gap with even the most cynical of young students, simply by teaching them. Street cred is everything and vets have most of it.
I’m not talking about a Million Person march here, although it would be nice just to remind Congress who’s boss. Making them afraid is always a good business plan. But the real problems that we face going forward are more educational and cultural than political, and politics will only follow where the cultural trends lead them. It would take Congress a generation to fix from the top-down what we could, school district by school district and university by university, fix more permanently from the bottom-up, on a constitutional state-by-state basis. Congress is much better in putting a final paint job onto the edifice the people build instead of hiring its own architects and contractors. The New Deal and Great Society should be good examples of what not to do.
I’m simply talking about a grass roots new Great Awakening, and in the same way when Billy Graham or Bill Sunday came to town, go door to door to get people to come to the next tent meeting. Donald Trump has already proved how hungry people are “to be taught”.
This is our last Great Commission.
(Written by Vassar Bushmills and posted for Vassar Bushmills)