This evening I flipped through the results of my local school board election and found myself shaking my head in complete and utter disdain. A candidate who really has no respect for the local schools had found himself elected to the school board. He is your typical white repugnant middle class backwards thinker who has nostalgia clouding his vision and he wants to carry the school district in the wrong direction. The direction of the past…
During his published interviews he had gone on about the three local private religious schools, holding them up as a paragon of things done right (no his name is not DeVos). He had rambled on about needing to return to the old ways of doing things and had criticized the forward direction that the local schools had been moving. When I had read his interviews I had found my heart sinking… as it was again another reminder of why I have come to feel a strong disdain for the area in which I live.
Sadly this election was just another flashing beacon, reminding me of how utterly lost the Midwest and southern region has become. It seems to be so entirely fixated on stepping back in time toward a period that was good for no one (except maybe middle-aged white dudes). People have this silly fantasy built up in their heads of the past and they want to drag the world back there with them. Here, in this little pocket of the world is just another example of the grand problem that led to the election of the repugnant Tangerine.
The past is the past for a reason. It is over and done and it cannot be returned to. Yet people have a horrible habit of romanticizing what they look back upon. All the while they demonize or degrade the present. It’s not a new situation. You see it in movies going back forever… the older generation always trying to hold onto the past and complaining about kids today. The music is too loud, TV is too this, movies are too that.
Every single generation has a habit of wanting things to be the same for the next as it was for them. It’s as if the changes somehow lessen the value of history in their minds. They hold onto they way things were as if it were some shining example…and as they hold on to the past they seek to drag the future backwards. Holding it back… slowing progress…their way of doing things was the right way and the present or the future is getting it wrong.
I suppose it’s a way of keeping themselves relevant. If things don’t change and things stay as we remembered them to be, then we are still part of it. Change is scary and in their minds it’s easier to drag their heels and slow the steady progress. They won’t have to change if they settle in and hold out.
It has always seemed odd to me that so many people want to move through their lives looking backwards. It would seem that you would walk into a whole lot of poles if your entire life is spent gazing at the rear view. Yet, they are determined to fix their gaze backwards. All the while allowing the cloudy, romantic haze of reminiscence to paint in the blurry corners of the picture.
Sure you can look back to the way they used to do things in schools and you can decide that you want to drag your children back to the past. It’s an odd argument really…I mean, what’s the point of teaching your children to live in a world that won’t exist when they are adults? Even today there are so many jobs that did not exist when I was in high school. Many of the people who have found themselves moving into those jobs have had to seek retraining and further education in order to work in those fields. Yet, there are people who jump up and down screaming that they want things to go back to how it ‘used’ to be. But even the past did not prepare people for what is today… so why on Earth would you want to hinder your children by demanding they learn in ways that didn’t even prepare us to meet the needs of the present?
The reality of the world though is that it will always change. There is no choice but to move forward. You can try to drag humanity backwards, but it will always find a way to course correct. Unfortunately most of those course corrections end up being rather harsh and their is an awful lot of whiplash in the process.