OPINION: How did we get here?

OPINION: How did we get here?

June 19th, 2017 by Robin Smith in Opinion Columns

FBI agents continue to search for evidence on the baseball field in Alexandria, Va., Thursday, June 15, 2017, the day after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. was shot during during a congressional baseball practice. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Robin Smith

Robin Smith

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.

Over the last few weeks, it's become clear, whether pondering the two terror attacks in the United Kingdom, the violent college campus protests characteristic of Evergreen College in Washington State or the heinous baseball practice ambush, our culture is displaying signs of death. Our culture is dying because our people are consuming lies instead of truth and substituting virtues for a sliding scale of morality of the day.

Americans deserve better and we can truly be better.

When a society permits indecency and vile conduct to masquerade openly as accepted behavior under the banner of "free speech," "protest" or "civil dispute," that society is left with indecency and vile conduct and its malignancies. Don't be surprised.

The embrace of relativism as a substitute for truths that transcend time and are as reliable as the law of gravity has occurred as a result of the idea that if you impose any standards upon others for the good of community and individual existential wellness, you're clearly judgmental, even a bigot. Simpler, if you have no standards, you must abandon expectations because there is no metric of success or good.

This relativism permits any loosely-knit group of individuals to define truth based on public opinion, an agenda item that's perpetrated as a newly created civil right or a narrative manufactured for the purpose of countering a political opponent. In the case of gender fluidity, perpendicular to the biological facts of chromosomal science and biology of thousands of years, individuals are now permitted, if not encouraged, to live in flux and confusion.

Rather than a society that builds on its founding of personal independence and personal responsibility, the accepted notion of the entitled existence of a large population of able-bodied adults receiving free housing, free food, free college tuition, debt forgiveness and living off the backs of those who are productive is neither sustainable nor right. Producing a population of "eternal children" is cultural suicide.

How did our technologically advanced society find itself in a cultural crisis entirely of our own making?

It's all about personal choices and the courage to stand in the face of the unpopular when you know your position is grounded in integrity and fact.

One chooses to move with those whose behavior doesn't just express some type of dissent, but is violent and malicious. One chooses to hurl weaponized words that marginalize, objectify and degrade for the purpose intimidation. Much simpler, you show me your friends, I'll show you your future.

Individuals choose to live life in a state of self-declared victimhood. Individuals and society at large chooses to normalize abhorrent actions and remain in what they see as a politically correct framework that doesn't dare permit consequences for wrong-thinking and behavior.

Proof is found in the escalated security necessary to protect U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. U.S .Marshals have been deployed to protect, not the secretary of state nor the CIA director, but the secretary of education. At a projected cost of $8 million in additional spending, money that should be going to students is diverted to protect an official whose approach to education is violently opposed.

We can't turn back the hands of time. But, we can stop the self-inflicted madness where wrong is declared right and we, instead, live as civilized individuals.

Robin Smith, a former chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party, owns Rivers Edge Alliance.

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