THE  GOOD  OLD  DAYS

 

          There are people who like to complain that the world is going to the dogs, but actually it is getting somewhat better over all.  Radical adventists preaching gloom and doom and predicting the end of the world are too pessimistic.  God still has more work to do among us, perfecting His creation.  The first half of the twentieth century is now “the good old days” to some who lived then.  Here is how it was:

 

        WHAT  WAS  GOOD                                             WHAT  WAS  BAD

 

Economic optimism, millionaires                           Economic depression, suicides

 

25 cents per gallon gasoline                                  40 cents per hour minimum wage

 

Capitalistic work ethic                                          Unions forcibly resisted

                                                                                    Unsafe working conditions

                                                                                    Industrial pollution

                                                                                    Strip mines, leaded gasoline

 

Sunday for worship and rest                              Segregated churches

 

Prayer and Bible reading in school                    Book burning, Scopes trial

                                                                                    All-white segregated schools

 

Everybody knew their “place”                                    WASP-dominated society

                                                                                    All-white athletics

                                                                                    Indians on reservations

                                                                                    Ethnic slums, run-down shacks

                                                                                    Mass genocide in Turkey,

                                                                                       Russia, China, Germany

 

Doors left unlocked                                                         Judicial discrimination

 

Law-abiding citizens                                               Lynching, vigilante mobs

                                                                                    Poll tax

                                                                                    Antisemitism, KKK

 

Law-abiding presidents                                           American imperialism

 

Patriotism and national pride                           Ugly American image abroad

                                                                                    American isolationism

                                                                                    Military conscription

                                                                                    Barracks immorality

 

Clean-shaven, short-haired men                             Ridicule of “odd” people

                                                                                    Fascist skinheads

 

Stable home life                                                      Male dominance

                                                                                    Husband having property rights

                                                                                    Divorce stigma

                                                                                    Old Maid stigma

 

Respect for women                                                            Underpaid female workers

                                                                                    Closed male professions

 

Minimal abortion                                                          Slums, child abuse

 

Minimal drug use                                                      Saloons, speakeasies

                                                                                    Unrestricted public smoking

                                                                                    Lung and mouth cancer

 

Prohibition of alcoholic beverages                   Gang wars, bootleggers

 

Repeal of Prohibition                                         Deaths from drunk drivers

                                                                                    Sclerosis of the liver

                                                                                    Absenteeism

                                                                                    Ruined families

 

 

ANOTHER “OLD TIMERS” LIST

 

Nostalgia for the good old days and a list of memories.

 

Remember when the “War Department” became the “Department of Defense,” thus proclaiming to the world that America would never strike the first blow as an aggressor?

Remember when “might makes right” was regarded as a medieval concept?

Remember when an unprovoked first strike, like Pearl Harbor, was denounced as a sneaky, cowardly act?

Remember when “shoot first and ask questions later” was what the bad guys did?

Remember when a big bruiser picking a fight with a midget was called a bully?

Remember when a boy would put a chip of wood on his shoulder and dare another boy to knock it off - which meant the young punk spoiling for a fight had “a chip on his shoulder?”

Remember when only an outlaw state would start a war without United Nations approval and multi-lateral cooperation?

Remember when America helped form the United Nations after the Second World War, so there would be a world forum for talking rather than shooting?

Remember when the trial of war criminals after the Second World War led nations to see the need for an International Criminal Court?

Remember when the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was approved and honored by America as the best way to stop the Cold War’s escalation?

Remember when America promoted both democracy and human rights, and not just democracy?

Remember when both China and Cuba were equally treated as repressive communist nations?

Remember when the Geneva Conventions guaranteed the rights of prisoners of war?

Remember when the protection of habeas corpus meant a person could not be prosecuted without hard evidence - or a nation start a war based on flimsy accusations?

Remember when government was the friend of the little man?

Remember when government did not pry into the private lives of its citizens?

Remember when the separation of church and state was preached from every Protestant pulpit in America?

Remember when spending yourself into debt was called irresponsible and “living beyond your means?”

Remember when living in prosperous economic times allowed the government to make tax cuts?

Remember when the American dollar was the strongest currency in the world?

Remember when it was thought proper that heirs receive an inheritance rather than having to pay off the debts of their wild-spending parents?

Remember when conservatives were against “big government?”

 

                                                                                                                Richard L. Atkins

                                                                                                                          2-9-2004