The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

What Does ‘Best Days Are Behind’ Mean?

Posted on | December 11, 2011 | 9 Comments

by Smitty

It’s easy to get hacked off about irrelevant things. The power cord somehow got caught in my sandal, my temper flared, and I managed to pull the whole power strip out of the wall. But that was a tangible thing. Abstractions are a bit harder to get at (emphasis mine):

Most worrisome is the fact that a majority of Americans, 52 percent, told pollster Scott Rasmussen this week that they believe the country’s best days are behind it, the first time a majority has so responded.

What is ‘the country’ if not the people therein, today? ‘The country’s best days are behind it’, you say? Is this one of those obsequious glances at The Greatest Generation? As if, by bestowing the superlative, we know that our culture reached a point of inflection, peaked, and now it’s OK to dive for the gutter? Are we staging our excuses for why we can’t deal with the deficit, entitlements, and the national debt? “If only we were The Greatest Generation, we could have so kicked butt on those problems, but we’re not, so failure is more acceptable.”

Up that noise.

Peoples are slow-changing. The standard deviation amongst generations isn’t that great. That is, if Generation X (my media-packaged cohort) were dumped back in time and given WWII, I contend that we would do as fine there as has been done in the GWOT. Even the #Occupy weenies would likely toughen up and do well, albeit with initially higher attrition.

Too, there is no denying that Postmodernism has been to our societal mettle what osteoporosis is to your bones. Therein lies the rub: the bones belong to the individuals, not the society. The damage is only as permanent as we permit. The spell of malaise is more an intellectual illusion than an objective fact. Our country is no more doomed by some Best Days Past Myth than it is by the Overpopulation Myth or the Anthropogenic Global Warming Myth.

Let us chuckle at these Myths and ignore those peddling them.

via Instapudit


9 Responses to “What Does ‘Best Days Are Behind’ Mean?”

  1. Joe
    December 11th, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

     I can understand the sentiment, but like Stacy says “Don’t put too much creedence in polls.”  There were similar sentiments during the depression and during the stagflation malaise peanut days of the Carter Administration.  Barack Obama thinks our country is fundamentally flawed.  He blames the current economic mess on Bush and the GOP.  It is a lie. 

    The current mess is from giving out too many loans on homes to too many people who could never pay back those loans.  And while there is plenty of blame to go around (including the GOP), most of it falls to our good pals, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, who insisted those banks kept giving those crappy high risk loans out.  All on the hopes that houses would continue to rise in value indefinitely. 

    We have been there before.  Read about tulip mania.  Read You Can’t Go Home Again when Thomas Wolfe describes the speculation on some fictional town that sounds a lot like Ashville, NC.  These things happen and it seems like every generation has to relearn it again. 

  2. Anonymous
    December 11th, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

    The next generation could all have 150 IQs and hearts of steel and it wouldn’t matter with this debt!

    I do seriously worry for this country, sir- and like I never thought I would, that’s for sure

  3. serfer62
    December 11th, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

    Of course “The best days are behind us”, but then there’s Monday

  4. aconservativeteacher
    December 11th, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

    Yeah, all the big-government spending screwed it for all of my students, and they are clueless that they will have to work twice as hard their whole lives just to pay for all the stuff that this generation gets (social security, medicare, medicaid, unemployment, ‘green’ good feelings, food stamps, etc). Those all are worthy goals- but should be paid for by the generation that gives them out, not through debt.

  5. daisy
    December 11th, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

    I like to think that my GenX folks could  be up to the task if we were zapped back to WWII but this current crop of 20somethings…. these kids are pathetic and I feel bad for that becuase my generation bred them.

  6. Joseph Fein
    December 11th, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

    I grew up in NYC during the 70’s — Trust me, Escape from New York was based on where I was growing up. 

    It took a Republican mayor to make the city managable (with some prelude by Mayor Koch) — same thing applies with the country.

    We’ve seen this story before, the re-runs always show up when Liberalism takes the reins. 

    After President Obama retires in 2013, America will look forward again.

    It seem Liberals love trash talking their own country. Every time.  What ever happened to Liberals like Tip O’neill who loved their country and voters just as they are?   (even when the Left loses an election — the Left has been Whinging since 2000)

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  7. Charles
    December 12th, 2011 @ 12:29 am

    I would like to see survey number that controlled by age. The best days may be behind the average aging boomer. But If you asked a bunch of 10 year olds if our best days are behind us, they would just look at you funny.

  8. Tennwriter
    December 12th, 2011 @ 9:30 am

    When I was ten or so I would have agreed to the possibility.  Red Dawn WAS a definitely possible future, and the strangling of the nation as gov’t expanded, crime was rampant, the economy tanked, and morals sank was the current reality.

    Then a relatively hard core conservative (rather soft, IMO) like Rick Santorum came along, and said ….Its Morning in America. 

    To the GI’s, it was given the defeat of Naziism, and the start of the Cold War.  To finish off the Communist scum took the Boomers.  Now it is given to Gen X to destroy the Progressives in our own nation, restore a culture of life and virtue, crush the Islamofascists, and do all this while paying down the debt.

  9. Bob Belvedere
    December 12th, 2011 @ 11:12 am

    The faults, dear Joseph, are not in the stars, but in ourselves.

    We have let Leftist Thinking invade all of our minds, setting the scenes, writing the dialogue.  It’s life looked at through a fun house mirror.