I am not in the business of jeremiads, being an optimistic sort, but now and then a post here triggers an articulate and persuasive allegation of existential ethics rot. Such is the latest Comment of the Day, courtesy of reader slickwilly, his first. It was prompted by another commenter’s rueful observations on slickwilly’s earlier musings (sparked by the ESPN reporter whose use of the term “guerilla” was mistakenly attacked as a racial slur, losing him his job) on the public school system, in which he wrote in part,
I pity the teachers (and I live with one) who are afraid to offend a parent by reporting the “perfect little angel’s” latest misdeed, upon pain of possible job and pension loss. (I know of a school district that does not allow a student to flunk… writing a name on an assignment guarantees a passing grade. Butts in seats are how districts are paid, here) I agree with the ‘confronted and taught’ idea in principle, but how do you put that into practice, when doing so can destroy your ability to put food on the table for your family?
To which Zoltar Speaks! replied:
“Have we become a society of wimps unwilling to stand up for our convictions? At some point responsible adults must unite and take a stand regardless of the possibility of negative consequences. Even ignorant people know that there is power in numbers; so choose your battle, gain numerical support, focus on right and wrong, be on the side of right, and stand up for your convictions.”
Here is slickwilly’s Comment of the Day in response, on the post, The Destruction Of Doug Adler : Guerillas, Gorillas, ESPN And The First Niggardly Principle:
“Have we become a society of wimps unwilling to stand up for our convictions?”
Short answer: yes.
In many cases, there are no convictions to stand up for.
We are seeing the Republic die of apathy. There was some awakening when Trump was elected, but the majority of ‘normal’ folks I interact with each day (work and socially) just cannot be bothered to understand the issues, much less get engaged enough to have an opinion at all. If they DO have an opinion, it was usually delivered to them via meme or the MSM, and they cannot defend it.
Americans as a society have had things good for too many generations now for people to believe in an existential threat unless and until it directly impacts their lives. We live atop a thin veneer of civil behavior and mistakenly believe this crust is miles deep and the natural order of things.
Most people have less than two weeks of food in their houses, despite FEMA and others’ warnings to be prepared in case of food chain disruption. Grocery stores have less than two days of normal sales volume on the shelves, and little in the back storeroom many no longer have. Witness the empty shelves for the over-hyped east coast blizzard not long ago. Panic buying due to lack of foresight. (Has bad weather never visited these places before? Have Hurricanes never threatened the Gulf Coast before, that people empty store at the last minute? Has the Mississippi never flooded before?)
Starving people care little about civility, as Katrina and other emergencies have demonstrated.
This bleeds through to every aspect of society. This is how we have the backward views on grades and how we value public education. Priorities are disconnected from reality to the point ‘lies are truth, and truth is regarded as a lie.’ I read that last one somewhere…
Zoltar, the rot is prevalent, even here in the middle of Texas.
It must be Trump’s fault.