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America in Moral Decline – We Are a Country With an Identity Crisis




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The United States has certainly seen its share of periods of moral injustice over its history. As a matter of history, these periods usually hit around every 60 years or so. In the last decade or so we have begun to see another shift, social distrust, and a decay in traditional values we experienced in the 50s and 60s-family, religion, intellectualism, and freedom. These values have been uprooted and now what we are experiencing is a country with an identity crisis, looming toward a diminishing American moral value system.

Most broadly associate this decay with the rise of the digital age. However, I argue there was no cataclysmic moment, but a series of them that have allowed Hell to spill across our land. Let me provide you with some examples. The death of George Floyd and the chaos, protests, and violence that ensued, the increased rate of domestic terrorism, and a drastic rise in mass shootings. Our people are living in fear. This is just an example of the violence that has resulted from a population living in fear and disillusionment.

Consumerism

Craving pleasure. Consumerism has now also catapulted to the social order, clouding decision making and brainwashing the consumer into thinking they need material goods, services, and wealth to be happy and healthy. As a result, we have a population riddled with mental health issues like depression.

We now have a population that values material items over contentment in and of itself — spurring unhealthy competition, dishonesty, and jealously.

Anti-Intellectualism

We have also seen the rise in a surprising category-anti intellectualism. The complete disregard for expert analysis is shocking and equally disturbing. The last decade has seen a rise in “Flat-Earthers,” climate change naysayers, sharp decreases in education and scientific literacy, and an increase in fundamentalist vs critical thinking.

Our population is distracted, and it isn’t an accident. It wasn’t a conscious choice on our part-it was conditioned. Corporate run organizations, media, and government want an ill-informed and ignorant population. They want a population fueled by consumer culture so that the corporations can influence government policy and guarantee their financial interests are taken care of — all while the general population is trying to make it as an Instagram influencer, struggling to make ends meet, ill-informed of policies, watching entertainment media spark civil unrest by using propaganda. Fear, instead of critical thinking, has taken over.

Decay of religion

In an article written in 2019, the Pew Research Center wrote,

“Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.”

That is a startling figure. What is the reason for the decay? Another study found that as individualism increased, religious affiliation fell. Individualism is a cultural system focused more on the self and less on social rules. This can be attributed to a number of things like more tolerance of equality, self-focus (well-being culture, self-help books, and self-care), and lower empathy due to less social support. Key word-self. We have become selfish and forgotten to serve and support others is our purpose. We must aim to improve our skills and identify our passions so that we can give them away. Religion connects us to a higher being, reminding us that we are to serve a higher purpose. Without it, we are lost.

Breakdown of family

It is commonly known that an unstable family life is bad for kids. More and more, our children are growing up in broken homes. This is not to say that all kids from broken homes become criminals. That is certainly not the case. However, many of them do suffer from poverty, addiction, or homelessness, more so than kids that come from married parents. Having a strong family influence aids in building strong traditional moral values like compassion, trust, honesty, and respect. Without these values, your moral compass falls apart.

 

Covid has amplified the problem by infusing more fear into an already fearful population. It has inserted desperation and anger toward the government restricting their rights and taking their jobs. They see a government unwilling to help, further diminishing trust. No longer are Americans proud to be American.

This isn’t the United States I am used to. This isn’t the United States I am proud of. Unfortunately, I don’t have an easy way to fix it. Change needs to happen on many levels. Government policies need to change, education and families need to be at the forefront, Americans need to wake up from their distraction and become more involved in these issues(safely), we need to come together as a nation and recapture the values that do pull humankind together — kindness, compassion, family, religion, intellectualism, and freedom.

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