It has become yet another form of politically incorrect blasphemy to take issue with Tom Brokaw’s reverential blanket awe of the so-called “Greatest Generation.” Yes, our parents survived the Depression and WWII, and examples of fortitude, bravery, sacrifice and character abound. That generation also set the stage for the baby boomer hurtle toward State Nannydom. The fact is that previous American generations endured much, much more with much, much less to see them through.
Think of the colonists pledging their “lives and fortunes and…sacred honor” to bring forth “a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Think of the tens of thousands slaughtered in a Civil War fought to test the original mettle and vision of our Founders. Think of the covered wagon pioneers braving the terrifying uncertainties of the West. During that first century and a half of our history, the “helping hand” of the federal government was far, far, far away, yet America and Americans flourished as no civilization ever has before or since. No need to go back to covered wagons and tallow candles. The principles of self-reliance and freedom protected by a few basic laws is all that’s required for progress. Conversely, the temptations of Progressivism will be our death knell.