Well, it was a wild ride in Alabama, wasn’t it? When I went to bed Tuesday night, things were not only all but certain, but actually looking pretty bad–Moore was up at around 53%, with forty-some percent of the polls in. Imagine my surprise to wake up, and find out that a scant plurality of the folks down there decided that possible child molestation and/or pedophelia is, in fact, disqualifying. (There’s absolutely much, much more to the situation than that, and it’s way more than I could cover in a year of posts. But this’ll do for a quick overview…)
As with Virginia, we still can’t afford to get cocky. We’ve halved the Republican majority in the Senate–but they still have a majority (if only by one seat)… And it’s not yet certain, by any means, that we’ll pick up enough additional seats in the midterm to take the Senate. Still, one can hope.
But even with that breath of fresh air, there’s still the question of what, exactly, happened to our “civil” society? Where, or when, did things make that wrong turn? I’m sure it was little bits, over and over, across a pretty broad stretch of time. And while I know we never really had Mayberry, looking at the spectrum of things, and seeing where we are today, I believe we were a little further in that direction, at one point.
I may start listing “points where things turned away from civility,” as I see them, and when I run across one. For starters: The family and I were having a quick meal at a fast-food place near our home (in between various school activities). While eating, I was watching a Christmas tree sales stand across the parking lot. This one was being run by a local Boy Scout troop, supposedly. I say “supposedly,” because of the five people who were working the lot, three were definitely adults/scoutmaster types, complete with uniform shirt, red ball cap, and the lot. The other two–well, they looked young enough to be scouts, but they were in dirty jeans and sweatshirts. Good clothes for manhandling sticky fir trees, but I could have hoped for at least a “BSA” ball cap. The thought struck me: If this is for the local troop, where are the troops? Why are the parents doing 80-90% of the work? I was never a Boy Scout, but I was a Cub Scout in my younger years… And I recall watching the older boys getting ready for their fundraising things of various types. And the work was done by the Scouts–not the adults. I always kind of thought that it was kind of the point–teach the Scouts a little business, give ’em a bit of work to do (and be responsible for); ease them somewhat into the world of “adulting.” But if they’re nowhere to be seen, and yet the troop still benefits (from somebody’s work), what exactly are they learning?
This, obviously, isn’t a big part of civil society–but I believe that one of our responsibilities, as citizens, is to help train the next generation of citizens. Then maybe we won’t have quite so much screaming at each other. Or quite as many Weinsteins, or Roy Moores. Maybe, eventually and with lots of work, we can get this whole thing to work a little more smoothly…
I’ll be on hiatus until after the holidays; look for my next post the second week of January. Have a pleasant [winter holiday of your choice]! I hope to see you next year!