Letter to the Editor / THE GOOD OLD DAYS
By Roger C. Kostmayer
There’s a tendency to pretend the “good old days” were good, and current times are crazy and abnormal. History suggests that current times really are crazy and dangerous, but so were many other times. Today’s divisiveness, disbelief in science and medicine, false questioning of Presidential elections, and lying by some politicians and journalists IS crazy – but, from an historical perspective, it is not abnormal.
If you examine our nation’s most important moments, that were often progressive changes, you will find passionate discord that’s not unlike today’s: In the Revolutionary War, our fight for independence was hindered by the 30% who sided with England; The Civil War had more than 30% who were determined to maintain slavery; The fight for women’s right to vote included 30% who opposed such a radical change; In the 1950’s, Senator McCarthy had, and may still have, 30% support for his communist witch-hunt; Before the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, neither the American people nor the Congress supported FDR’s efforts to help defend England in WW II; The Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s was (and may still be) resisted by more than 30% of our population; The struggle for LGBT equality was, and may still be, opposed by more than 30%; The current fight to protect our tradition of peaceful transfer of political power, pursuant to the Constitution, is threatened by January 6 and the misinformed anti-democracy 30%.
So, when folks say they want to get back to normal, we should think twice.