The following is a brilliant comment by “CliosFanBoy” (promoted from that diary’s comments section) in response to Nikki Haley’s embarrassing, ignorant idiocy (see below) about how supposedly life used to be “simple” and how supposedly it was all “about faith, family and country”…and how we can all have that “Father Knows Best” eutopia (actually, it was more like a dystopia if you were Black, LGBTQ, a woman, etc.) again if we just “vote Joe Biden out.” And just remember, Haley campaign for Glenn Youngkin in 2021, so presumably those two are in sync on this dangerous nostalgia for white-straight-Christian-male-supremacy America.
The 70s were my high school and college years, and I have a lot of fond memories. I loved the music, and the cars were cool looking. I still like how some of the styles looked (not all, leisure suits? ICK). Hollywood was having one of its most creative periods and the Bicentennial was fun. As a fan of a small-market team I enjoyed baseball—with the draft structure and pre-free agents even small teams could build a winning team if they were smart. Cops weren’t all dressed like they were entering a war zone and we didn’t have metal detectors in schools. People didn’t need a college education to make a good, middle-class living. And I didn’t go into debt for years for college.
I also remember:
Watergate, the Church and Pike Committees, the Winter Soldier hearings, etc., that revealed government abuses.
Gas lines, cars that got 10 MPG, and Detroit fighting safety measures like air bags tooth and nail. (I still own an antique car that came out when I was a high school senior, ouch. I drive it as a fun ride on special occasions, but compared to my little KIA my Detroit muscle car is not only a gas hog, it’s a death trap on wheels.)
Factories closing as jobs fled overseas.
Inflation that was far worse than what we had after COVID.
Violent demonstrations in places like Boston against so-called “forced busing.” The man who was developing the busing plan for my home town in Ohio was killed by a sniper, and no one was ever caught.
Black history started with Crispus Attucks being killed in the Boston Massacre. Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves (and yes the Civil War was about slavery in Ohio schools. When I visited family in Kentucky and Tennessee it was “States Rights.”). George Washington Carver did cool things with peanuts, and Martin Luther King (they didn’t use the “Doctor.”) and the Supreme Court ended segregation.
Listening to a friend talk about his Mom’s financial problems. She couldn’t get a credit card of her own, or a mortgage, without her husband’s signature, even though she was divorced.
Being oblivious to the fact that my neighborhood was all white because of red-lining.
Hearing (and to my shame repeating) jokes that I realized later were homophobic, sexist, or racist.
Not knowing anyone who was Jewish, let alone Muslim, or Sikh.
Thinking Chinese food was something you only got in big cities like New York or was La Choy from the supermarket. Forget Indian, Thai, Central American, real Mexican, sushi, etc., etc.)
Learning that a bullied classmate, who I now know was on the spectrum, committed suicide because he didn’t have the support he needed.
Being called “moody” because I was sad all the time, because depression was a forbidden topic, and we didn’t have much in the way of treating it.
And as an adult finding out…
That friends from then were gay but had to hide in the closet. Now they’re out, married, and happy.
That the reason why some of my friends who were young women avoided certain male professors. Because it was a “perk” for men in positions of power to “hit on” female students. I know this attitude still exists, but I just retired as a professor, and I know that if I had done this my colleagues now would not have just winked and looked the other way.
Why my friend was crying. Because she had been “date raped.” And she knew that she’d be blamed. (This one still exists I know)
We have a long, long, long way to go, but we’ve made a hell of a lot of progress. The righties want to undo all of it. OK, I’m a cishet, educated, upper-middle class, WASP male. If we were to go back to the society that was used to have I’ll be OK. But I don’t WANT to go back!!!!!! What about my wife, my younger family members, my friends, my students!? I don’t want my gay friends to have to hide in the closet. I don’t want my trans student to go back to their dead name. I want my non-white students to encounter LESS bigotry as they get older, not more! Recognizing their rights doesn’t take away even a single, tiny piece of mine! Hell, it makes me freer as well!
OK, I admit I don’t understand everything. I don’t really understand being trans. But SO WHAT? I don’t understand how gravity works but I’m not demanding the right to jump off of buildings to fly. I don’t understand how any rational adult could take the Bible’s Book of Genesis seriously as history either, but I don’t want to ban you from reading it or teaching it in your church. If people only had the right to do what I personally understand it’d be a very boring world.
Growing up in that era we had to memorize the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address. The Bicentennial celebrations emphasized every promise of freedom and equality we ever proclaimed as a country. It inspired me then, and still does today. I’ll be damned if I let the righties force us backwards without a fight on those promises we made.
Here’s Nikki Haley’s brain-dead drivel: