Opinion: American society is not what used to be

Posted on Oct 29 2018 - 5:50am by Lauren Moses

American society is not what it used to be, and that is a bad thing. Once unified on community and patriotism, society has devolved significantly from its founding. The breakdown of these two elements has stifled any progress to be made in the right direction for American society. The cause of this lies within the family and entertainment industries.

The first issue is the the family unit. Pew Research conducted a study in December 2015 that revealed several flaws in the family unit. For starters, the percentage of American children under 18 living with married parents dropped from 73 percent of children in 1960 to 46 percent of children in 2014. How can we expect future generations to learn if they don’t have a stable home to live in?

While the rate of heterosexual two parent households has declined steadily over the past 50 years, single parent households has only grown. Now this practice is not terrible in nature, but is not healthy for the mental and emotional development child. Developing kids, I believe, need a father and a mother committed to each other in order to succeed in life. These committed relationships encompass traditional or common law marriage.

Another norm on the rise is cohabitant parenthood in which only one of the parents is biologically related to the child and neither are committed to each other beyond splitting lease and telephone bills. Again, in this household, children do not have two parents, a mother and a father, who discipline and teach the child. Without a dependable community, children are left to navigate the world on their own.

The second issue, is the entertainment industry. The heroes of today’s society are actors and actresses. They are seen as the champions of moral thought in society. But, often their actions do not align with their beliefs. Instead, famous people are constantly gossiped about and at the forefront of the news because of scandals. With role models like these, it is no wonder that many people have skewed views of how society should function.

Also, many of those in the media almost always view America in a negative light. It is important to evaluate America based on standards like education and economic success so that it can improve and grow. But this is not what the media and famous people do. Instead, they say that America should be more like another country, lose its unique identity and succumb to practices much opposite of its founding principles. What’s more is these same people mark those with patriotism as “blind” to the problems. This divide between those who are patriotic and those who are not creates a schism in world views and ultimately drives people of this country farther apart.

Children are the future of America. They have great potential to bring this country to bigger and better things. But when their sense of community is attacked, they are left feeling alone, small and forgotten. When they are taught that their country has nothing to be proud of, they lose hope and drive to improve upon the founding ideals. Community and patriotism are two basic principles that must be restored in America before all ideas that make this country strong and unique are lost and forgotten.

Lauren Moses is sophomore accounting and political science major from Dallas.