But over the years something has gone very wrong and a significant portion of the problem can be directly related to government. Much of it goes back to Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and the War on Poverty, for this initiative, while sounding so great on the surface, has destroyed the traditional family unit in so many ways and it has brought with it many unintended consequences.
You have to look back to the times to really understand how this came about. The civil rights struggle had been building while at the same time their was a strong Conservative backlash to using government as the solution. After JFK was assassinated, one of the most powerful liberals ever in politics, Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson assumed the Presidency. As he developed his plans to run for his own term in 1964, he knew that the civil rights area, with a theme of carrying out Kennedy's dream, would be a great strategy.
When he defeated Barry Goldwater by a landslide along with huge majorities in Congress, the die was set. And while Goldwater fathered a movement that would gain traction over time and result in the election of Ronald Reagan in sixteen years, this was not the time.
I opened these comments mentioning my love for children because the issue of motherhood in America today has moved in a direction that those of us who remember 1964 could never have imagined. Look at some basic data. In 1964, 7% of children born in America were out of wedlock. Looking at 2013 figures, the change in direction of our society boggles the mind with 42% of whites and 73% of black children being born out of wedlock. We as a nation have spent some $16 trillion on programs to improve the lives of children and have clearly failed miserably.
What went wrong? Well, when our security net was grown to make sure that funding was available for the children, black fathers were no longer important to the family unit. And, of course, this also became common place in the white population as well as young males, old enough to procreate but not wise enough to be responsible, found that they would not be held responsible in many places for the financial burden that the Great Society programs took from them. "If it feels good, do it" no longer led to anyone being held responsible for the outcome, that was passed to the taxpayers.
We basically took a big step, and not a good one, to end the traditional two parent family and as a result grew the dependency base by leaps and bounds. Since then, the idea of welfare rights and the idea that responsible people are to be made responsible for the irresponsible with their tax dollars has grown exponentially. And that is the reason we as a society are now bankrupt, fiscally and morally. We have no money and many of us have lost our soul and our concept of responsible living. I'm sure the Founders are rolling over in their graves for sure.
So this being the 50th anniversary year of the Great Society, I find it as no reason to celebrate. I find it to be a principal cause of what is so wrong with America today. Can we bring America back? I truly don't know because once the "cat is out of the bag", it's hard to recapture him. But I do know that we've got to try, for without a turnabout in the way we think and act, we are truly doomed. There truly is no free lunch and when the non-producers begin to outnumber the producers, the foresight offered by Alexis de Tocqueville becomes more and more reality.
I hope this has given all of us something to think about. We must do it openly and honesty, not with a politically correct approach for the problem must be attacked head-on with the truth. Each of us in our own ways, either by our behavior and or actions, or by our complacency, is guilty. Let's shed our guilt by getting to work to do something about it. God bless America.