I have decided to start this blog by posting my previous published letters, beginning with this one. I did not believe, either now or then, that Trump or any Republican is a savior. But watching him trounce Hillary was a lot of fun, and I'll always have fond memories of helping bring home the victory in my first election as a young man.
Donald Trump’s statement that the late 1940s and ’50s were a great era for America has come under unfair criticism from Democrats.
I wish to write in defense of this era, not because I believe in a perfect past, but because I realize much that was good about America has been lost.
While I can understand why Trump’s rhetoric would worry people who think only about the uglier aspects of our nation’s history, it seems ridiculous to assume every social change was a move in the right direction. I’d like to point out three specific ways in which our country has been backsliding.
I’ll begin with what Trump has said is “a big issue, a horrible issue, and a very important one. It’s called law and order.” According to the FBI, murder rates are now higher than in the mid-1950s, and rape is nearly three times more common than in 1960, the earliest year in the dataset. Robbery has risen 70 percent, and burglary is up by 260 percent. The inner cities, where Democrats have ruled for the last half century, are suffering the worst.
The second issue concerns employment. In 1950, 86 percent of men 16 and older worked. Now the figure is barely 69 percent. The fraction of men not working has more than doubled. Industrial workers have suffered the most, with mining and manufacturing jobs being outsourced. As the ability of men to support a family has declined, so have marriage rates. In 1960, 72 percent of American adults were married; that figure has now shrunk to 50 percent.
Hillary Clinton believes in abandoning blue-collar workers and instead focusing on high-tech and service sector jobs. But America can do better than building an economy that values only the most skilled laborers. When Benjamin Franklin wrote to Europeans considering immigration to America, he emphasized America’s favorable conditions for the working poor. Unfortunately, in recent decades these conditions have largely disappeared. Trump’s opponents have criticized him for getting so much support from voters without a college degree, but perhaps they neglect to consider he may be the only candidate who cares about these people’s future?
The third issue I wish to address is abortion. In the 1950s, this abhorrent practice was illegal in all 48 states. Now, it is legal nationwide, and many of the largest abortion providers are paid by the government. It can hardly be called progress when a nation decides that someone whose life once had legal protection now has none. Has there ever been a country that came to regret granting basic human rights to too many of its inhabitants?
It isn’t without reason Trump has promised to make America great again. “Every day I wake up determined to deliver for the people I have met all across this nation that have been ignored, neglected and abandoned,” Trump has said. “These are people who work hard but no longer have a voice. I am your voice.”
It’s time for their voice to be heard.
Author's Note: When this letter appeared in the online version of the Courier, it got a lot of very mean comments written under the false impression that I was much older than I actually am. Example: "I'm glad that people like you are gracing the obituary pages more and more frequently."
I certainly hope to disappoint whoever said that!