Boots & Sabers

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0715, 11 May 21

Cultural erosion of individualism is destroying our way of life

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a taste:

If the busybodies and bullies were only making noise, it would be annoying, but tolerable. What makes them intolerable is when they impose their views on everyone else with the power of government. When the neighborhood bully gains power over you through government, we walk the path that ends in tyranny.


Somewhere along the way, “live and let live,” and its more ornery cousin, “none of your business,” stopped being part of the American culture. The cultural shift away from individual rights and responsibilities is corrosive to our way of life. The cultural rot that infects proms and vaccines is part of a larger infection that is running rampant through our society and government. We must reverse the shift by being intentional about respecting individuals, their choices, and their rights.


If you are wondering if I have been vaccinated, it is none of your business.


0715, 11 May 2021


  1. jonnyv

    Boo Hoo. “Way of life” being destroyed??? Every major technological enhancement has changed our way of life. From the lightbulb, car, TV, Internet. Our country used to be a country that looked the other way when someone was lynched, we tolerated spousal abuse, we legislated against gay rights. Your perception of “individual rights” is skewed, where is your view of “individual rights” when it comes to abortion?

    The advent of the internet has virtually KILLED the United State’s monoculture (a good thing to kill). No longer to people feel the pressure to pretend to be something, or enjoy something, that they don’t feel connected to. Smaller pockets of people can now connect to form bigger voices and more easily unite.

    The “cultural rot” you speak of is simply a fracturing. The United States (and the world) has a long history of trying to force people to adhere to a specific culture or conformity… don’t act like this is new because it is finally getting around to you.

  2. Mar

    “The advent of the internet has virtually KILLED the United State’s monoculture (a good thing to kill). No longer to people feel the pressure to pretend to be something, or enjoy something, that they don’t feel connected to.”
    I disagree on this point, as the Internet has made most people pretend they are people they are not. People use filters to change the way they look, make up fake profiles on Facebook and other sites, make people think they are smart and important like on Twitter. Or people think they are celebrities on Tiktok and You Tube.
    People also use the Internet to bully, intimidate and create mob violence.
    Look at President Trump and Le Bron James. Both use social media to bully people..
    So, I think that is the opposite of what you believe, JohnnyV.

  3. dad29

    If by “way of life” you mean ‘Right Order,’ then derogating or eliminating it is a very serious problem, indeed. If you mean, instead, some libertarian-esque society is an ideal ‘way of life’ we have to differ. The more I read, the more I think that the Founders’ “pursuit of happiness” was really “pursuit of virtue” which leads directly to societal happiness. They read and understood Plato and Ari, thus “virtue.”

    That implies that the 10 Commandments are a foundation insofar as they are a pathway to virtue.

    Some would have it otherwise–but they cannot claim to be advocating for virtue, nor happiness–at least in the sense the Western Canon understands it.

  4. jonnyv

    Dad29. Separation of Church and State. Simple. More people are going away from the church. Last stat I heard was less than 50% of people identify as religious or something along those lines now. Count me in that majority now.

    Mar. We can both be right. Some people use the internet to be who they WANT to be. Some use it to hide who they are. Do you think that gay, trans, bi, queer, pan, gender neutral people JUST showed up? Do you think that there are MORE now than any point in history? No, they have always been around but usually too embarrassed or shamed to say anything because we were a less accepting culture. The internet has allow individuals to form a connected and unified voice.

    But, Tiktok and YouTube people are celebrities… just not to you and I. My kid knows more YouTube stars than television or movie stars (except maybe Marvel). And they get more eyeballs than any movie star on the planet these days.

  5. Mar

    Johnnyv, you might be right about Tiktok and You Tube.
    That’s how the Kardashians got started.
    Now, is that good or bad?

  6. Paul

    Handy history lesson for the waterhead daddy:

    Television and mass media led to monoculture. Again, you don’t know what the blue fuck you’re talking about.

  7. Mar

    Umm, Paul, the first comment is pretty pathetic. Johnnyv is a decent guy and his kid has nothing to with his comment.
    As far as TV and monoculture, you’re right since the advent of cable TV. You have your Black stations, your conservative stations, your old people stations etc.

  8. jonnyv

    Thanks Mar, but don’t bother with Paul… he isn’t worth anyone’s time on here.

    TV and mass media did help direct our country into a monoculture for 100 years, but those were one way devices. The internet broke that.

  9. dad29

    More people are going away from the church.

    So what? More people are shooting each other in Milwaukee. Should we erase the law on that topic?

    Now, is that good or bad?

    EXACTLY the right question. Some parents are more fussy about their children’s ‘education.’

    The monoculture was established long before TeeeeVeee and radio. It’s been operative since at least 400 BC, but only began coming apart when Progressives established “individual rights (to various vices)’ as the better alternative. You could date it to the French Revolution, although it really goes back to the 1500’s.

  10. Mar

    JohnnyV, I love to debate liberals and I will defend them anytime here as long they don’t lie about me and insult me.
    You are a good guy, even if we disagree.

  11. Tuerqas

    Hmmm, I am not sure how much I agree with anyone here concerning TV, mass media and the internet on monoculture. For at least the last 3(4?) decades TV has pushed homosexuality, men and women as interchangeable equals and interracial relationships as the norms.
    If TV shows of all types were a true measurement of society, about 20% of people are gay(not 5%), at least 25% of people are black (not 12.5%), and women are generally as physically strong and aggressive as men.
    For at least the last 2 decades MSM hasn’t put murders on the news unless the perpetrator is a white person, or unless maybe they can get away with not giving any description of the perpetrator at all. They have pushed division along political party lines to such an extreme that virtually no person in the US would trust one sentence from both Fox and CNN, even if it was the same bloody sentence.
    The internet truly has everything good and bad about the human race. For every area it may have helped moved society forward in a positive way it has forced it back two steps in the same category. And most alarming to me is that they too are pushing us into one of two political ‘cultures’. It has fostered an ‘agree with me or you are a bad/evil person’ attitude and a mob mentality of guilty until proven innocent when many times they are guilty only of the PC attitudes of the mob, not any law on the books.

    When this nation was founded there was nothing like it. There were no significant cultures on earth where individual freedoms were even an oddity, much less a norm. Its success pushed the world into the modern age as we know it, and individual liberty is the base of its difference and success. Every right that is taken away from us moves us back towards a form of serfdom. it is not a matter of boo-hooing liberty in the name of social justice. Regardless of best intentions, social justice is interpretive rather than inalienable, so it is quite simply a means to take away freedoms that people in power want taken away.
    There is all kinds of room to change and improve on our lives without taking away liberties. Poo-pooing liberty as antiquated is the very worst part of liberalism in my book.

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