By John E. Carey
September 15, 2007
Did anybody notice that talking heads and politicians are now wearing the soft pastel necktie regularly? I remember when dark blue with stripes was the order of the day. England’s famed regimental ties were considered “classy” and they had meaning.
I have a little problem with pink, yellow and white ties.
Those pastel ties, believe it or not, remind me of the softening of America. We have nearly thrown in the towel in Iraq, a liberal blog accused the leader of the war effort of “betrayal,” and our movie stars (except for Russell Crowe and he’s an Aussie) are slim, lightweight and not overpoweringly manly — not that there is anything wrong with that.
John Wayne is dead — and in many sectors the one-time American icon is the butt of jokes.
The rise of women in America, a very good thing, has also prompted a kind of erosion into what a man is considered to be.
As the summer closes I am struck by two major news stories. First, we discovered this year that much of what you buy at WalMart, Target and Sears is made in China — and the standards and business practices of China are vastly different from our own. And two: former Chairman of the Federal Reserve said our nation gave up on standards like fiscal constraint which had served us well for decades.
You don’t hear many people talk about “standards” and “principles” very much and maybe it takes an octogenarian like Mr. Greenspan to remind us who we are and who we might be — with a little more restraint, wisdom and a dash of principles.
Sometimes the mantra of tolerance seems on the slipper slope to “anything goes.”
You don’t hear about hard work much either. Even President Bush says we need our immigrants (and the strong backs of people in other countries) to do the jobs “Americans” refuse to do.
A friend of mine in China commented at the height of the food and product safety scandals in China that the U.S. has outsourced and basically given away much of the manufacturing might that made America a superpower. His question is, “Would the United States have given much of its manufacturing to the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War?”
This election season is a good time to talk about standards, principles and the big picture of our world view. I haven’t seen a lot of that except from newt Gingrich and he isn’t running. But there is still time and Americans are a hopeful people.
U.S. economy weakens further