Why America is not great: Moral chaos

America needs to take responsibility for reasserting its own morality. Photo: Wounded warriors compete in a San Diego race

MISSOURI, April 9, 2013 — America is no longer the nation we once were, even though we look to our founders, who gave us standards of right and wrong as they created this great and powerful nation. The problem lies within ourselves as we drift on a tide that can only lead to moral chaos.

The root of our current problem can be found in several areas:

1. Abuse of Language

The older generations did not denigrate our English language, but strove to speak well. Today that is no longer true: listen to the language you hear while taking a walk in the mall or while at work. However, civilized, refined speech is also absent from much of the media, including movies, magazines and tabloid newspapers, not to mention today’s music. We are not only “dumbing down” our language, we are a reflection of our own degradation through our language. This should be a cause for concern.

2. Entertainment Industry

Movies once provided wholesome entertainment that the whole family could enjoy together. Hollywood actually practiced self- censorship back then. Television in its beginning had standards, providing some of our greatest humor such as the “Texaco Hour” with Milton Berle, “The Sid Caesar Show” and “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

Movies contribute to our declining morality

The list goes on, but what do we have in the movies and on television today? Movies with sex, extreme violence and rough language as evidence in the movie “Django Unchained.” The same is true for television as seen on the series “Justified.”

It has gotten to the point where we have to have a security device on our television sets so that our children cannot have access to these shows. We must ask ourselves: Is that good even for the adults?

We also have the Internet, which has revolutionized the ability to obtain the most current information and enormous amounts of historical data. However, it has also helped to put a nail in the coffin of our morals with easy access to pornography.  

Again, we are all for free speech, but there is a difference between free speech and speech that contaminates the minds of its citizens, resulting in actions that are less desirable by our society. It is a fine line, but society has to draw the line somewhere. But how? We need to return to what made this country great when the parent/s were the role models for their children and most of all when they provided tough love.  

3. Lack of Patriotism

Today we also see the lack of patriotism in so many ways. One of the most striking is the way we treat our returning veterans, especially those who come home with disabilities, unable to get their claims settled in a timely matter with the Veterans Department. It may be due to incompetence, but it is disrespect for those veterans.

To make matters worse, this problem has been going on for years. These wounded warriors are the ones not being immediately taken care of, and that shows a lack of patriotism for the those who were willing to lay down their lives for our country. And yet there are those in Congress who while seeking to reduce our deficit would consider cutting military benefits.

We seem to be adrift in a time of moral chaos, having lost the compass our forefathers and mothers gave us. Until America takes responsibility for reasserting its own morality, we will continue on a downward path.

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Charles Vandegriff, Sr.

Charles is a fifty-four-year career in technology retiring at the directors level from three major corporations. Followed by three-plus years as a free-lance columnist, published three books, over three hundred speeches to senior organizations, radio interviews, one television commercial and finally married for sixty-five years, four children, seven grandchildren and thirteen great grand children. 

Charles is also a Navy veteran.

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