The Dumbing of America

            October 2013    
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Are Americans Dumb or Just Plain Stupid?

By N. Shuldig

Don't get me wrong, I grew up in America and benefited by its largesse educational system. I enjoyed growing up in an innocent society where 'Father Knows Best' and 'Leave it to Beaver' presented me with an entertaining half hour based on good healthy moral ethics. Even 'Lassie' and 'Roy Rogers' had the American ethics of good is desirable and bad is evil. And never forgot was Superman's "The never ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way."

But some where in Hollywood an evil turn began to take hold. If they can entertain, make money by showing simple Americans good ethics, they can also change America through entertaining them with corrupt ethics. So movies of illicit love affairs became popular, movies about bad guys who were really supposed to be good inside since they loved their mothers, and sexually charged movies began to make the box office pop with money.

At the same time, the low moral ethics being portrayed on the silver screen and lived by the actors in real life began to generate influence far beyond the church and synagogue sermon. The Beetles boasted that they were more popular than the Christian Church, and they were!

Universities stopped being factories to teach upper level professions and became fertile political ground for initiating the young into a pseudo liberal cause. Aided by free sex, free drugs and a lowered admissions standard, it seemed as if zombie brain harvesters began head hunting for good natured intelligent leaning youngsters to snare into their trap of superfluous thought.

Whereas when I was young liberalism was synonymous with broad-minded thinking, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others. I considered myself a liberal. Modern liberalism, however, has sunk to a new low of narrow-mindedness, intolerant, prejudiced, biased, bigoted thought that has emerged as a semi-cult that will ostracize anyone in the group who does not adhere to the groups shallow thinking values.

Such is the experience I have when my nephew came to Israel to visit on the Birthright program.

A brief background:

My nephew is the product of a nasty divorce. His Jewish mother and Jewish father who had little training in Jewish values, lived together several good years before deciding that this living together will become a marriage. Soon afterwards my nephew was born and a few years later his brother. However after six or seven years past, his father decided that the hot secretary at his job was so much sexier than his wife and had a ongoing affair that tore up their home and scarred my nephew. At the tender age of ten, my nephew's father moved out of the house and moved with his secretary causing much confusion and heart break in my nephew's mind and heart; scars that he still feels until this day. Years later the divorce made the death of that marriage final.

Never the less, my nephew grew up feeling lost. On the week ends when he and his brother would go to visit his father, his mother would shack up with her current boyfriend. This is the family life he grew up with: Hedonistic values spiced with hatred.

But although he was troubled from his family affairs, he was an intelligent boy and made his way to the University of California at Berkeley, a hot bed of anti Israel activities where in lieu of any Jewish family values to stand by him, he met people of the new 'liberal' persuasion who looked at his father and mother's behavior as bring within the boundary of acceptability. They gave him friendship in their cloistered liberal framework and a new outlook on the world which includes the thought that Israel is an aggressor country and in order to have peace Israel must give back all the land that they took from the Arabs and with out such an action no peace is possible.

When my nephew came on his Birthright package to Israel he contacted us and surprised us by wanting to visit us and experience a Shabbat. We of course were delighted to have him and were curious to see him. He enjoyed our Israeli Shabbat, he enjoyed the family being together and enjoying each other (something he never experienced) and he enjoyed walking out side in the night into the peaceful Shabbat evening that only one who has experienced a Jerusalem Shabbat can understand.

Afterwards we walked in the very religious quarters and spoke, comparing the lives that are lived there as to the lives lived in Berkeley. Here in these religious areas, people get married between 18 and 22 and have children right away; the average is about six children per family some less and some much more. I explained that here the concept of 'family' is held in very high esteem.

He nodded his head and told me his story of growing up in a dysfunctioning family environment and the scar he carries from that. Yet he lives with his girl friend and although he at twenty-four has finished his college, he tells me that he will not be ready to settle down until he is maybe thirty and only then, only maybe, have a family.

From one side he envies those who are successful in 'family' and at the expense of acquiring physical wealth, but then he sees the acquisition of material wealth as a prerequisite to marriage and therefore he will not be ready to commit himself until perhaps thirty.

What was very important to him was protecting the environment. He felt that we must commit our energies to saving the planet; believe it or not, this was higher on his priority list than having a successful family life.

But what disturbed me the most was



from the October 2013 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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