The Silliest Generation

Victor Davis Hanson calls it right again — and his use of the word “silliest” is perfect, especially when so many Lefties see themselves as so enlightened. Here is VDH:

Every generation, in its modesty, used to think the prior one was far better. Tom Brokaw coined “The Greatest Generation” to remind Americans of what our fathers endured during the Depression and World War II—with the implicit message that we might not have been able to do what they did.

For the Roman poet Horace to be a laudator temporis acti (“a praiser of a past age”) was a natural if sometimes tiring inclination. His famous lines at the end of his Ode 3.6 on moral degeneracy run, “Worse than our grandparents’ generation, our parents’ then produced us, even worse, and soon to bear still more sinful children”—and managed in just a few words to fault four generations for continual moral decline.

Yet what is strange about the present age is that our current generation uniquely believes just the opposite. Apparently, we believe that most cadres before us were not up to our standards. Indeed, we are having to clean up their messes of racism, sexism, homophobia, nativism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia, as well as environmental desecration and global warming.

Even their statues must fall as bothersome reminders of their moral depravity. And the way they come down would do either Hitler (who carted off to Germany the French dining car in Compiègne that had been commemorated as the site of the 1918 armistice) or Stalin (who primitively photo-shopped out each year’s new enemies of the people) proud. Usually our generation kills the dead by the mob or a frightened mayor in the dead of night—rarely by a majority vote of elected representatives, referenda, or the recommendations of local, state, and federal commissions and carried out in daytime.


Read more: American Greatness

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