Editorial: We're far better now than we were in the 'good old days'

Posted 12/24/19

We’re reminded often at this time of year about the true spirit of the holiday season when we emphasize joy, love and giving of ourselves. But unfortunately for the other 50 or so weeks of the …

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Editorial: We're far better now than we were in the 'good old days'

Posted

We’re reminded often at this time of year about the true spirit of the holiday season when we emphasize joy, love and giving of ourselves. But unfortunately for the other 50 or so weeks of the year we often disregard those ideals, instead portraying the worst of us in our words and deeds.

Asking for us to act as our best selves was once the basis of political correctness. As with any movement, though, the fringes of PC sometimes have gone awry. Attempting to shut down reasonable, well mannered debate is not the right thing to do in any circumstance in this country. However, allowing racist, anti-semitic, misogynistic and homophobic commentary to be broadcast unchecked is doubly wrong and should be rebuffed stridently.

The real “PCs” we should practice aren’t difficult at all. Being polite and considerate, treating others properly and cordially are rather easy.

But something abhorrent has been unleashed in the global society in the last several years. It’s an ugly turn that has only been amplified in our political discourse here and through social media everywhere.

Recently, noted historian John Meacham hypothesized in this country at least it’s been a reaction by the ever shrinking majority struggling to grasp and accept the pace of change over the last six decades dating back to the mid-1960s.

With that we agree. As younger generations grow up in a more accepting world, thus cementing the changes made, it becomes more and more difficult for those on the opposite end of the spectrum to maintain certain beliefs. Their defenses of those positions have become more aggressive and angry as they see “their” country becoming less and less like them. But the "good old days," as they see them, weren't. It's that simple. We're far better off today.

If we have one wish this holiday season and as we’re about to begin a new decade, the third of this century, is that we can truly attempt to become the best of who we are and can be rather than regressing to who we have have been and what we once were.

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Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.