I don’t understand what’s happening this election season. There are a lot of absolutes proclaimed, but none suggest very certain outcomes.
Has the world gotten more complicated, or have I gotten dumber? The world of my youth felt pretty straight forward. The Americans were the good guys, the Soviets were the bad guys. That was the order of the globe. The only TV worth watching came on Thursday night and Cliff Huxtable was the best dad in the world. Bologna was sufficient for a meal. We could feed a family of 5 with some deep-fried bologna cheese toast topped with powdered sugar and Jiffy peanut butter and wrapped in bacon and that was the wholesome meal. And American, too—because all of it come from right here in the US of A. I liked to top off my meal of preservatives and pork fat with a sampling of Swanson’s TV dinners.
There were other truths of order. People who worked hard got rewarded. Evil never went unpunished. You could count on finding the most moral people in the same place on a Sunday morning.
I graduated high school convinced of these immutable truths. I was certain of the workings of the world. I understood my place in it. I was ready to arise in prominence. I was so much smarter then, I’m dumber then that now.
My certainty has diminished. While the moral pitcher of my youth was brimming with the water of righteous assurance and patriotism, that pitcher has leaked over time. Now the water is diminished, and that which is left is dusty and stale.
Where have you gone, GI Joe? How am I to teach the younger generation of a righteous moral order and the security offered by the government system without you? How can I tell my son about the certainty of good vs. evil when the year’s biggest movie has superheroes fighting one another. Superman is FIGHTING Batman! What ground have we left to stand on in declaring that good is good and evil is evil? The world is obsessed with uncertainty and obscurity. And that makes me feel dumb.