This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
Eagle Forum: Blog: Cal Thomas: What Works? Common Sense Solutions
Right-wing commentator, columnist and author Cal Thomas, who I do like and respect, had a book come out this year called What Works. And in his book he lays out what works in America and what he believes is the best way for Americans to live. Essentially built off the two-parent family with a mother and father. Where romantic couples don’t live together until they are married. Obviously no pre-marital sex and basic lets say common values of 1950s and before America pre-cultural revolution of the 1960s. Where Americans in huge numbers felt more individualistic and free to live their own lives.
As I’ve blogged before, what I call the Traditional Values Coalition that Cal Thomas and of course the Eagle Forum is part of, sees America as going downhill really since the 1960s. Probably starting in 1963 when the civil rights movement gained national strength and put on center stage on the national agenda by the media and others. After President John F. Kennedy comes out in favor of civil rights for African-Americans and gets behind a strong civil rights bill that he finally sent to Congress in the summer of 1963 and then you have the March on Washington with entertainers getting behind that movement in the summer of 1963.
The civil rights movement itself is not the main issues with the Traditional Values Coalition. It more has to do with how the country was changing culturally in the summer of 63 and everything that happened in that decade after 63 with the hippie movement. The TVC calls this the point where America starts going downhill culturally and morally. With the rise of single-parent families, rise in divorces, gays coming out of the closet, women feeling free to enter the workforce after college and financially supporting their kids just like their husbands.
What I don’t think the Traditional Values Coalition seems to understand is that America pre-cultural revolution didn’t work for all Americans. Sure it was really good for Anglo-Saxon Protestants men especially, because they had most of the power in the country. But that population certainly does not represent America as a whole. And this way of life didn’t work for women of all ethnicities and races. Sure it may worked for some, especially Caucasian women who were more culturally conservative. And were perfectly satisfied staying home and raising their husbands kids.
But this traditional Anglo-Saxon way of life simply didn’t work for the rest of the country. For millions of African-Americans who wanted the freedom to live their own lives and support themselves and build their communities. And perhaps most importantly be treated equally under law and have their constitutional rights enforced equally. It didn’t work for women of all races and ethnicities who wanted to again be treated equally under law and treated equally as men in society. And it didn’t work for young Americans again of all races and ethnicities who didn’t want to live their grandparents and parents lifestyle. And it didn’t work for gays who were trapped in the closet and wanted to come out.
Modern America that we have today that is so culturally, racially and ethnically diverse, vs. traditional America where Americans were expected to act and live in a certain way. That was common with one specific population in America, but not something that satisfied the country at-large. Which was a big part of the cultural revolution and why it broke out in the 1960s. And what the Traditional Values Coalition people like Cal Thomas, Phyllis Schlafly and others say is that, “America has been going downhill ever since and we need to get back to what works”. Their way of life.