One is that most parents with traditional American and Judeo-Christian values have not thought it necessary to articulate these values to their children on a regular basis. They assumed that there was no need to because that was true for much of American history, when the society at large held those values. Villages do indeed raise children. And when the village shares parents' values, the parents don't have to do the difficult work of inculcating these values.
But the village -- i.e., American society -- has radically changed.
Which brings us to the second reason.
Virtually every institution outside the home has been captured by people with left-wing values: specifically the media (television and movies) and the schools (first the universities and now high schools).
In the 1960s and 1970s, American parents were blindsided. Their children came home from college with values that thoroughly opposed those of their parents.
And the parents had no idea how to counteract this. Moreover, even if they did, after just one year at the left-wing seminaries we still call universities, it was often too late. As one of the founders of progressivism in America, Woodrow Wilson, president of Princeton University before becoming president of the United States, said in a speech in 1914, "I have often said that the use of a university is to make young gentlemen as unlike their fathers as possible." Eighty-eight years later, the president of Dartmouth College, James O. Freedman, echoed Wilson: "The purpose of a college education is to question your father's values," he told the graduating seniors of Dartmouth College.
Even now, too few conservative parents realize how radical -- and effective -- the university agenda is. They are proud that their child has been accepted to whatever college he or she attends, not realizing that, values-wise, they are actually playing Russian roulette -- except that only one chamber in the gun is (SET ITAL) not (END ITAL) loaded with a bullet.
And then they come home, often after only year at college, a different person, values-wise, from the one the naive parent so proudly said goodbye.
What to do? I will answer that in a future column. But the first thing to do is to realize what is happening.
There are too many sad conservative parents.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”
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