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That phrase was coined by the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan in trying to show that a society has a limit in tolerating bad behavior before it has to start lowering its standards. He also called it “moral deregulation”, that has eroded families, increased crime, and produced the mentally ill and addicted “homeless” population to expand it's tentacles. The late erudite pundit Charles Krauthammer, expanded on Moynihan's phrase by proposing the reverse - that not only are we “minimizing what was once considered deviant”, but we were also “finding deviant what was once considered normal”. Since the 1960's, the decline in ethical, moral behavior has steadily declined up to the present day where we have behavior that is not only crude in speech, but is dangerous in actions against our fellow man. The disrespect, by some in our society, against our mores and traditions is manifested in the violent crimes that occur all too frequently today in our once safe venues like schools, shopping malls, theaters, houses of worship etc., it is a clear signal that something is amiss in our society today. There is an old expression that if you reward bad behavior you get more bad behavior.
Once we take out the “moral purpose” in life, a society cannot remain free and civilized as there will be no constraints and duties required in a fair and just society (ex: the fall of the Greek and Roman societies are an example). Anything goes. Faith, which is condemned in many of our institutions, such as in schools and in government, is not a threat to a civil society, it is vital for its survival, but it is eroding at a fast pace in our screwed up society.
The decline, which started in the 1960's with the passage of the “Great Society” promoted by then President Lyndon Johnson, changed our tenet of self-reliance, to relying on the government to solve most all our problems, a form of socialism that is undermining our capitalist system that is promulgated by most of our professors and educators in our schools and by many in the Democrat Party. The young people today have been indoctrinated into thinking that our culture and traditions are no longer valid, and that a “total transformation” (a phrase used by former Pres. Obama) is needed to achieve the “Nirvana” that has been pushed into their heads full of mush. Winston Churchill, in his infinite wisdom once said, “If a person is not a liberal (a/k/a Socialist) by the age of 20, he has no heart, but if he's not a conservative (a/k/a Capitalist) by the age of 40, he has no brains”.
Look all around us today. We have taken God out of the schools and replaced it with sex education and free condoms and a “dumbing down” of the curriculum; we have mocked patriotism by banning the pledge of allegiance and national anthem in many of our venues; we have defaced and tore down statues of our past heroes and some non-heroes; we have reduced the concept of marriage, which for centuries was designated as between one man and one woman, to be any two (or more) loving people of any sex; we have expanded our welfare rolls, including illegal aliens, thereby making more and more people dependent on government handouts; we have made drug using acceptable, in some cases, while we have made tobacco using unacceptable (a noble gesture); and we have tolerated the total disrespect of the office of the president of the United States while overlooking the crimes of certain favored politicians of a certain party (a double standard of justice).
Today we have groups that shroud themselves in names that connote peace and tranquility, but are actually the opposite of what they say they believe, an example being ANTIFA (which stands for anti-fascist). They are the masked thugs that go around disrupting political rallies, and shouting down speakers at forums that they don't agree with, along with destruction of private and public property, and then join up with another militant group with a sweet sounding sobriquet called BLACK LIVES MATTER, who have chanted “Pigs in a blanket, fry'em like bacon” and “What do we want, DEAD COPS - and When do we want it – NOW”. Both of those groups are the antithesis of what their made up names are trying to signify. They both champion the Marxist/Socialist form of government. And, of course, we have the spectra of that insidious term “political correctness” which tries to stifle free speech and free movement by unelected busybodies who try to force their views onto everyone else. A case in point, look what happened at a previous Winter Olympics. For millions of Christians, it is unnerving to live in a world where the sister of a despot (she is the Communication Minister of Communist North Korea) is normalized and glamorized, but a man of faith (V-P Mike Pence) is considered “mentally ill”. That comment was made by Joy Behar on that left-leaning show called “The View”, to laughter and applause by the audience. How low can you go? Just when you think Joy Behar can't go any lower she starts digging even lower.
All these examples I've listed above, seem to justify, unfortunately, what Sen. Moynihan and Charles Krauthammer tried to convey about what is happening in our society today, and not for the better. It is a case of “Defining Deviancy Down”.
Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann
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