However, we've done something even worse to these kids. We've left far too much of their education in life to Hollywood, musicians, and college professors who've passed on a skewed view of the world. Not only have most of these kids never been told the truth about how the world works, they've been told that anyone who even tries to tell them the truth should be immediately tuned out because they're boring, mean and "uncool."
Unfortunately for them, reality doesn't care about boring, mean or "uncool." It just keeps rolling on like a threshing machine, cutting anyone who ignores it to pieces.
With that in mind, do you REALLY want to know why America has been so prosperous? Want to know why we're a superpower?
It's because of Judeo-Christian values, Western culture, a Puritan work ethic, patriotism, capitalism, small government, adherence to the Constitution, and a capability and willingness to use our military to decimate enemies of our country.
None of those things are being celebrated in songs by Lady Gaga, movies by James Cameron, or in women's studies courses at American colleges.
Do you want to know who has made America successful?
Ninety eight percent of the businesses, inventions, and great ideas that made America a cultural, economic, and military superpower came from old dead white guys of the sort who are sneered at on college campuses as bigoted, awful relics of bygone eras. That's ironic if you think about it because without those men the colleges where they're being sneered at wouldn't exist.
So much of our country is like that.
The only reason we have so much money to "redistribute" is because we spent so long devoted to capitalism. The only reason we feel so comfortable mocking Christianity is that we think a culture shaped by Christian morals will hold together anyway. We're become so confident that our culture will remain steeped in patriotism and Western values that we've come to believe we can allow an unlimited number of foreigners who don't share those values to enter our country illegally without changing anything.
Confidence is a good thing, but when it's coupled with a people who stop doing the things that make them successful, it becomes hubris.
We've forgotten that rich people and corporations can move out of the country, that people will change their behavior when it no longer benefits them, that no matter what our race, color, or creed, we all suffer if our culture becomes a corrupt sewer and that many great nations have been laid low when they stopped doing the things that made them successful. We've forgotten that we're one nation in a competitive world, full of other countries that yearn to see us trampled in the dust so they can have their day in the sun. We've forgotten that we're competing with workers in India, corporations from Britain, and with resource-hogging governments like China and Russia -- and guess what? They're all hungrier than we are because life has already taught them the hard way that you don't get participation trophies just for showing up.
We've forgotten not only how our country became successful, but the people who are making it successful.
We're successful because a lot of steady, responsible people do boring jobs that have to be done. It's the man who works 40 hours in his first job and another 20 hours a week at a part-time job so he can pay the bills for his wife and kids. It's the stay-at-home mom with spit-up on her blouse who has been on her feet for hours cleaning and taking care of the kids. It's the small businessman who worked 70 hours a week for peanuts over the last decade to get his business to the point where he can have people complain that he's not paying enough in taxes. It's the single mother who gives up partying every night to make sure her child is taken care of like he should be. It's the pastor who says something from the pulpit that will be controversial, but that his flock needs to hear. It's the cop who sweats through a half dozen encounters with drunk, drugged, and potentially violent creeps each night because he cares about keeping a neighborhood safe. It's a soldier sleeping in a tent far from home because he's doing his part to keep the peace. It's the couple who feels like they've achieved the American dream because they got married, bought a house, had two kids, and are putting enough money in their 401k to retire someday.
Those people don't get the respect they deserve because they're more concerned with doing their jobs, paying their bills, and making sure their kids get every advantage possible rather than yelling about "the patriarchy" or protesting the "oppression" of people who are asked to take a drug test to get their welfare benefits. No one is making any reality shows about people like them and if they do make it onto the silver screen, the Christian is a jerk, the dad is a buffoon, mom is a crabby Stepford wife, the southerner is a toothless redneck, the cop is crooked, the soldier is a mindless drone, the businessman is screwing everyone for profit and they're all living bland, oppressive lives waiting for some pampered pretty person to show up and teach them the error of their ways.
Hollywood, academia, and popular culture champion a world where snark has replaced wisdom, marriage isn't considered a lifetime commitment, where there's spirituality without God, where it's better to be silent than to risk offending someone, where people don't understand that everything is a trade-off, and where the more happy, successful and well-adjusted you are, the more likely it must be that you screwed someone else over to get that way.
Contrary to what you may hear from Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, and your college professors, life is not about how many times you get laid, how much marijuana you smoke, and embracing trendy causes to impress your friends.
It's about working 10 times harder than you thought you'd have to in order to get half as far. It's about struggling through your twenties and working like a dog in your thirties to start to accumulate some money in your forties. It's about trying to find a decent house in a nice neighborhood near a good school for your family. It's about taking more satisfaction in buying a gift for someone else than getting something for yourself. It's saying a prayer for a friend or family member who’s about to have an operation. It's about doing the right thing, not getting recognized for it and being fine with that because it was always about doing the right thing for you.
If that sounds frightening or depressing because it doesn't involve partying, getting blackout drunk and having sweaty sex in the alley behind a bar every few months, it's not. You can take a lot of pride in earning your keep, paying your own way, and doing your part to take care of yourself, your family and your country. It's also the sort of quiet lifestyle most successful Americans actually live as opposed to the funhouse mirror image of reality that's glorified in our popular culture.
One day, Millennials are likely to have a burden put on their shoulders almost as big as the ones the Greatest Generation carried, but they won't have the faith, the work ethic and the road-of-hard-knocks education gained from living through the Depression to carry them through. For their sake and the sake of our country, let's hope that enough of them have listened to their parents, their grandparents, and their churches instead of Hollywood, their favorite bands, and their college professors.