The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

July 24, 2013

Geoff Caldwell, guest columnist: Even disco’s better than this

JOPLIN, Mo. — I belong to that group of Americans born at the end of the baby boom generation but before Generation X.

Born too late for “Howdy Doody” and “The Mickey Mouse Club,” too old to be mentored by Big Bird and Oscar, we grew up sandwiched between the white Wonder Bread of the 1950s and the multigrain mix of the 1970s.

We didn’t march on Selma or descend on Haight-Ashbury. Dealy Plaza, the Ambassador Hotel and Memphis are historical places rather than events seared in memory. And while we were lucky enough to have missed Vietnam, there was no escaping the aftermath.

Our teen years began with the resignation of Richard Nixon and ended with the election of Ronald Reagan. We started high school with Jimmy Carter’s “that even our great nation has its recognized limits, and that we can neither answer all questions nor solve all problems.” We ended high school under the “malaise” that his own inept leadership created.

We’ve experienced double-digit mortgage rates and the fall of the Berlin Wall, rode the peace dividend and tech wave right up to the dot-com bust and recoiled in anguish as the towers fell.

In one decade, we went from the complete loss of trust in government (Nixon) to one department after another created (Carter) to “fix” the very problems said government was creating.

From our perspective, if America could survive the ’70s, she could survive anything. Anything, that is, except going back.

One would think that, having a decade of so many failures so recent in our history, we’d have learned our lesson. Yet here we are, stuck with a federal government bigger and more intrusive than ever. One could argue there was more control under World War II rationing, but that was with the consent of the people united behind a common cause of defeating an enemy that threatened our existence. What is emanating out of Washington today is anything but the “will of the people.”

For the sake of a political philosophy espoused by an elite and connected political class, America is being forced into a “transformation” that tens of millions do not want. A transformation that, if not stopped, will leave us all stripped bare of our founding principles and the constitutional rights and liberties so many before us gave their all to protect.

Too melodramatic? Think about it.

Think about a National Security Agency that so easily moved from foreign surveillance to scooping up data on each and every American citizen; think about a government that forces the survivors of the Benghazi attack to sign nondisclosure agreements to protect the politicians at the expense of the fallen; think about an IRS that targets political opponents and silences political speech; think about a government that says we’re in recovery because inflation is in check but doesn’t include the cost of energy and food, the two  items most needed to live; think about $4 gas and skyrocketing electric rates caused by an EPA pushing an ideology of diminishing returns over sound cost-benefit policy; think about real employment being in double digits; think about a single government database containing all your personal health and financial records open to abuses not yet imagined.

Think about the damage being done and the mess we’re leaving behind, and you just might find yourself thinking what I’m thinking:

All of a sudden, the ’70s don’t look so bad.

Geoff Caldwell lives in Joplin.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Pledge must be priority

    Mike Seibert, after being elected Joplin’s mayor on Monday, immediately pledged that the city will be operating with transparency.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Free choice

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Serious drawbacks

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Step aside

    The people of Joplin made it clear they wanted change at City Hall with their decisive votes to replace two council members.

    April 16, 2014

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: Government without apology or explanation

    Americans feel closest to their Uncle Sam at this time of year as he extends his hand for his “fair share” to fund his numerous endeavors.

    April 16, 2014

  • Phill Brooks, columnist: Value of outside fiscal experts for government

    Missouri recently lost a man who had been one of the state’s tax leaders of decades past.

    April 15, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Hate hurts us all

    Investigators say Sunday’s shooting of three people — two at a Jewish community center and another at a retirement complex in Overland Park, Kan. — were hate crimes.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: State’s theatrics

    Conservatives in the Kansas Legislature have taken advantage of a serious problem — inequities in public school funding — to attack teachers and create new problems.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joan Banks, guest columnist: Right-to-work isn’t what’s right for Missouri

    Right-to-work legislation is up in the air right now in the Missouri Legislature.  Last week, the bill failed to get enough votes to advance to the Senate, but supporters are working to get those votes and move it forward.

    April 14, 2014

  • Our View: A hand across

    Have you ever needed $20 to help you get by until payday, a ride to work when your car wouldn’t start or someone responsible to watch your children for a few hours?
    Of course you have, and odds are you picked up the phone and there was someone on the other end willing to help.

    April 13, 2014

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

The Supreme Court may take up a challenge to an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign. Do you think false accusations made in the heat of an election should be punished as a crime?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing Raw: Blast at Tennessee Ammunition Plant Kills 1 Hoax Bomb Raises Anxiety in Boston Egypt Clamps Down on Mosques to Control Message After Fukushima, Japan Eyes Solar Power New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Ex-California City Leader Gets 12 Year Sentence Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?
Sports