Today at RedState (and perhaps a few other outlets) Governor and presidential candidate Bobby Jindal wrote something that you probably won’t see as a thirty-second commercial nor as an uplifting stump speech. He warned us at the outset “this is going to be a sermon,” but I think of it more as tough love. Jindal writes:
These shootings are a symptom of deep and serious cultural decay in our society.
Let that sink in for a minute.
These acts of evil are a direct result of cultural rot, and it is cultural rot that we have brought upon ourselves, and then we act like we are confounded and perplexed by what is happening here.
Jindal goes on to describe in an almost breathless style a number of indictments about modern society, and you really can’t argue with them. As I said above, it’s a dose of tough love, with special emphasis on the the father of the Oregon community college shooter.
Bobby Jindal was born about 7 years after me, so he came of age in the late 1980s. At that time, we were in the early days of the “thug” culture glorified by rap music and just a few short years away from the beginnings of the video games Jindal railed against. (The Sony PlayStation was introduced in 1994 as the first of the modern crop of video game consoles.)
But then again, we have had parents fretting about the decline of moral standards for generations. Nearly 100 years ago it’s likely the parents of the 1920s flappers thought they would be the generation that went to hell in a handbasket; instead they reared the kids who were present for the birth of rock n’ roll and rocked around the clock, only to turn atound and raise my generation. Maybe that’s where they went wrong.
I think Jindal comes closest to hitting the grand slam, though, when he talks about the absence of the father in modern society.
Look at how fathers are treated in the popular culture – most are the long-suffering types who regularly get rolled by scheming kids smart beyond their years while the women run the show. In the reality of life, we find millions of children in families where they have brothers and sisters by multiple fathers. If they are fortunate, one of them may be with the mother but many rarely see their father.
The next question, though, is what can Jindal do about it? It’s an interesting question since government’s role in shaping culture should be limited. Let’s hope that now that Jindal has vented that he can advance the discussion with some policy ideas.