Americans have been so “non-judgmental” that many people can no longer tell the difference between good and evil. We congratulate ourselves for being “nicer,” more sensitive, and less prejudiced than past generations of Americans, but we don’t stop to consider how much more there is to morality than that. An America that isn’t full of good people won’t remain a good nation, nor will it remain strong and free. Our country’s lack of morality has real consequences.
1. The collapse of marriage
There used to be a stigma attached to getting a divorce or having a child out of wedlock. That’s no longer true, and consequences for society have been horrific. Roughly 40 percent of marriages now end in divorce and half of all children born to women under 30 do not know their fathers. Three in ten white children are born out of wedlock, as are 53 percent of Hispanic babies and 73 percent of black babies. That matters because children raised without a mother AND a father are statistically worse off in just about every area imaginable.
Seventy percent of those in juvenile detention were raised by a single parent. Also, 72 percent of juvenile murderers and 60 percent of rapists come from a single-mother home. Families with just one parent account for 63 percent of youth suicides, 70 percent of youth pregnancies, 80 percent of prison inmates, and 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children.
Despite the fact that China and India have populations four times our size, it’s stunning that America has the largest prison population on Earth. Does prison work? Yes – our crime rate has dropped in proportion to the number of convicted criminals locked up. Good kids aren’t raping people or assaulting strangers to prove they are tough. Kids who are taught good and evil, right and wrong, patriotism, chivalry, and honor are going to make mistakes. But prisons are full of men and women who are morally adrift.
3. Poor government
America seems to be becoming progressively less governable and there are many reasons for that. Government has become too big to effectively manage and special interest groups are running rampant. The last generation looked to her political leaders as a moral compass. In today’s America, both major party candidates for president are thought, by two-thirds of the people, to be remarkably dishonest. Barack Obama’s signature legislation, Obamacare, was built on lies. (You can keep your doctor; your insurance won’t go up.) The FBI concluded the leading candidate for president lied to the American people repeatedly. For this there is no remorse, apology, or price to be paid. Why? Because dishonest people are okay with dishonest leaders.
Americans have traditionally been some of the most self-reliant people on the face of the Earth. People used to be ashamed to be on the dole even if they felt like they had no other choice. But today, one-third are on welfare. That is 109 million people. That is more people than the entire populations of California, Texas, Florida, and New York – combined. Today, 50 million are on food stamps and 11 million are on disability. Of course, many of these deserve to be on welfare, but the numbers have exploded in the past few years. The Roman Empire crumbled from within, when its citizens came to rely more on government than themselves. Mitt Romney may have lost the 2012 election because of a secret recording of him telling the truth – 47 percent are dependent on government.
5. Lack of civility and manners
Samuel Adams said, “A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy.” Between the anonymity of the Internet, the crudity of much of modern music and TV, along with our bad habit of rewarding every reality TV star with 15 minutes of fame as long as they’re willing to go to any lengths to catch our attention, we’ve become a crass, rude, and obnoxious culture. The last generation wouldn’t support a TV show that featured a divorced family. Today’s biggest hit features bachelors and bachelorettes having sex before marriage. And there is no outcry. On the other hand, we don’t know our own neighbors.
The moral collapse of America is beyond debate. And to argue whether this collapse has severe consequences is a demonstration in stupidity.
About the Author
John Hawkins is a conservative blogger and columnist. He has published several columns in numerous newspapers. His work can be seen twice a week at Townhall. He is widely recognized as one of the leading young conservative writers in America.