America's deepening moral crisis

(That's America's; not, of course, America's.)

Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University has a hard-hitting article under that title at the Guardian that's well worth a read. He paints a picture of a United States "in a nasty mood", no longer interested in compassion, and falling into the politics of racial and religious division. America, he says, "presents the paradox of a rich country falling apart because of the collapse of its core values." It is in the throes, he says, of an "ugly moral crisis".

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Marie Rehbein
8 years ago
The article seems to be based on what the author takes from media coverage of various outspoken political groups.  I would not say that it is entirely wrong, but I also would not say that we had a more gloriously compassionate past in which we all worked toward a common goal.  We might have wanted to do so, but the reality was that we were not particularly successful at it.

ed gleason
8 years ago
I think Sachs is hearing nasty noise and mistakes that for nasty numbers. The Dem congressional campaign  just booked a record 16 million last month,all from small donors 
8 years ago
If this article had been written by a Baptist preacher from North Carolina and cited the high abortion rate, the high illegitimacy rate among terminally poor inner city African-Americans, and an assault on the stability of marriage and families posed by loosened divorce laws passed at the behest of radical feminist groups and increased secularization in community schools it would be panned as culture warrior blather by a (probably racist) dupe.  Instead, because it is penned by a professor at Columbia University (in New York City) citing typical liberal arguments for a "moral decline" (i.e. "compassion" as a motivating political policy agenda "receded" with the election of Reagan) and arguing for a 60s-style welfare state revival and is published by an English newspaper, it is lauded.

Considering that the 60s style welfare state he seems to favor is the entire reason there is so much economic angst, it is quite cheeky to point to it as a halcyon of "compassionate" government.  It might have been compassionate, but it has cost us a pretty penny (and I include the atrocities of public housing which it created as part of those costs).  And I am sick of supposedly hearing of this "golden age" of American politics wherein partisanship was put aside and all came to the table to agree on "solutions".  Has he read American history?  No such political era has ever existed.  FDR had to attempt to stack the Court to get the New Deal through.  The only time we ever hear about the "death of bipartisanship" is when liberals fail to push through their agenda items.  Apparently this is a harbringer of the coming correction.
Kate Smith
8 years ago
I see America failing too, but as a lifelong Catholic and Democrat I see this happening in the places closest to me.    I see religious orders and bishops - and their religious superiors and the pope - woefully failing, breaking laws, engaging in cover ups, making it all about money, and lying to people.   I see the Democratic party doing what it wants to do and shutting out voices that disagree.

It all came together for me when a Catholic church in Albany, NY got a Democratic mayor to order an intentional false arrest of a clergy abuse survivor at a Catholic church in Albany where he was protesting before Easter.

The false arrest was dismissed in court after witnesses came forward - I was one of them - and that Catholic church was closed a year later.

For me, all of this is part of the moral decline of the United States.   There seems to be no moral standard.   People seem to be defining moral standards to fit with their desires in their local situation.

But is it any wonder that that is happening?   Didn't all the bishops and the pope define moral standards this way in their cover ups of clergy sexual abuse which continues into 2010?    If it doesn't fit with their problem, skip the moral demands.

I know the church in Rome wants to blame it on all the rest of us, but they have sure been crappy leaders.

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