What is happening to our American values? You remember values, don’t you? You know those moral thoughts and behaviors we used to hold dear, like decency, civility, optimism, empathy, and tolerance?
This country was a beacon of idealism a d progressive values to people the world over. It’s the foundation of principles, the U.S. Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence were revered at home and emulated abroad. American children, we’re taught their significance and education and knowledge were cornerstones of our achievement.
A sense of being part of the American community enhanced our citizens. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, symbolizing lofty ideas and values, welcomed millions of immigrants to our shores. The newcomers (our ancestors ) worked hard, contributed to this country, and their children thrived, sharing the American dream.
The values above represented the best of humanity and fostered a culture of benevolence, creativity, and opportunity.
But that was then, and this is now
This is Now referred to as the current ”alt-values” prevail today which are antithetical to those ”best of humanity” values. These words and actions convey anger, rudeness, hate, greed, lying, selfishness, intolerance, and callousness.
These alt principles and codes of behavior are the trademarks of the incivility we witness on a daily basis, often expressed with rancor and rage. They have become commonplace on television, in social media, and in everyday life. Of even more concern is that these new ”moral standards” serve as models of behavior for our impressionable children and youth.
There is no doubt that we live in a dangerous world, both at home and abroad, and we must certainly be vigilant and protect ourselves. But in the all-encompassing service of strengthening our forces and intelligence agencies, we could lose sight of our basic human values and diminish the essence of what made this country so exceptional.
Citizens in a democracy are encouraged to either criticize or support political parties and policies. But in the current alt-values climate political conflict has become filled with insults and invective.
The discordant words and behavior of political leaders can be toxic to the core values we cherished. If the new norm consists of demeaning and disrespectful utterances, or bullying and belligerent behaviors. We invite the de line and degradation of our nation’s better valued and our quality of life
Demagoguery engenders anger hatred and fear, and these emotional viruses can easily spread among a vulnerable population through a process known as social contagion. These negative emotions insinuate themselves into the social atmosphere, wreaking have with people’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.