"What a great time

I was surprised at your facile comparison of the ’50s with today, as well as your quick dismissal of the ’50s as a pleasant time to live (Hoppe, “What Made the Greatest Generation Great,” Dec. 6-13).

The only fact you cited, in dumping on the ’50s, was that the times weren’t perfect. When you find the perfect time, let us know.

But when making such a comparison, how about remembering that in the ’50s, most people, rural and urban, didn’t bother to lock their doors when absent. No one would deliberately do that now. Have you compared crime stats between the two eras? There are many more murders now in Indianapolis than anytime during the ’50s, as well as more violent crime in general.

Violent gangs operate in many neighborhoods in Indianapolis now, terrorizing residents. Such was not the case in the ’50s.

Families, of all races, socio-economic classes and geographic locations, were much more cohesive in the ’50s than now. Illegitimacy rates, all across the board, are sky-high now compared to then. Who is better off for that?

In the ’50s, pedophilia was almost unheard of, and parents were never afraid to let children leave their immediate protection then, whereas now, all parents have to be constantly fearful that unattended children might be kidnapped or sexually abused.

Gun violence is significantly more of a problem now than in the ’50s. As a matter of fact, police officers never had to wear any type of special protective gear then, and the concept of a SWAT team had never even been developed yet. The police simply didn’t need any such response during those times.

Plus, many, many problems connected with drug abuse continue to spiral out of control now, with much more theft, family abuse, shootings and organized crime drawn to illegal drugs, where virtually none of that was present in Indiana in the ’50s.

Children were much better educated at that time than they are now.

The “greatest generation” didn’t end when WWII was over; it was the Boomers you admire so much that screwed up so much of our society, and that trend continues without end. The Boomers represent the self-indulgent, the complainers, the finger-pointers, and I believe they are largely ignorant of the significance of American history and culture and our positive impact on most of the world. Give me the ’50s anytime.

Bill Runyon




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