It’s 2022. Conflict rages over gender issues, abortion, vaccination status, wokeness, critical race theory, pronoun usage. . . the list goes on. If one could go back in time to the 1940s, one would find a very different world—an era admired today by some who think the fashions striking enough to get attention on Pinterest, or those who think World War II exciting enough in a video game. But comparing the 1940s with today, there are many significant differences of which we as Americans need to be aware.
First, an unsettling emphasis is placed on technology. The smartphone has become the mainstay of the average American’s life. We have little need for libraries and banks, phonebooks and phone operators, or magazines and catalogues since we now carry all this with us on one device. We have also eliminated the necessity of mirrors, flashlights, and cameras, which are all available on the smartphone. No need for learning penmanship, capitalizing words, punctuating, or using good grammar when writing: the computer does it all. Meanwhile, interaction with people is becoming scarce in modern America. We have become a virtual people with everything of importance being displayed on a screen. Technology undeniably serves many useful purposes, but the prioritizing of technology over people is a problem in our nation today. In the 1940s, people needed each other more, and did things together. This is a missing facet of today’s lifestyle.
Second, there has been an obvious decline in the dress code since the 1940s. In the past people chose to dress respectfully. Now “the look” is a ragged and perpetually casual appearance. But even more repulsive is the ever-blurring distinctive line between men’s and women’s, and boy’s and girl’s clothing. Disgustingly, dressing “gender neutral” is becoming an essentially classic style. Back in the 1940s, it was considered scandalous if a woman stepped gloveless or hatless out of her house. Dressing up and looking one’s best was expected for everything from attending church and visiting friends, to going to a sports event or shopping. This has been replaced by today’s “come as you are” concept and a casual rather than professional atmosphere in public.
A third example of what is different today than it was in the 1940s is the lack of national pride. With World War II, patriotism was at its fullest peak as thousands marched off to fight. Those at home supported the victory measures, and accepted higher taxes and less comfort. Schoolchildren prayed with their teachers, recited the pledge of allegiance, and were aware of why the country was at war. Today our nation is dominated by selfishness rather than unity and patriotism. Public school only offers criticism for our country’s history and principles. Some college students might be able to define kinetic energy; meanwhile they remain clueless as to whom our first President was. Even sports events have become shocking displays of disrespect for prayer and our nation. The things so dearly protected by the soldiers of World War II are being forgotten and shoved aside in the clamor for other “rights” of all sorts and shapes.
A New Age
This is certainly a new age. No era will ever be perfect, but the decade of the 1940s was a time of general wholesomeness and simplicity. People valued time with each other. They respected the traditional family unit. They had a way of better coping with problems and were more self-reliant. Entertainment companies had higher standards to meet. Men were proud to be masculine; women took pride in being feminine. Boys were boys, and girls were girls—it was as simple as that. Today?—please.
Throughout the years the American people have gone through many changes. We have become champions of progress. We are still a strong and respected nation. But American morals and ideals have lowered considerably. It is up to us to raise them again. Looking back to the 1940s, it is apparent that some things in life never grow out-of-date or old-fashioned. We must salvage our traditional morals and ideals so that we can look back on these times and say, “Those were the good old days!”