Response: Is America in Moral Decline?
Response to “Is America in Moral Decline” by Bill Bennett
Yes, and at the same time a very resounding no. Bill Bennett attempts to make the point that America is worse off now than it was in decades past by showing statistics of single motherhood, children on welfare, average daily television viewing, and other “moral barometers”. What he fails to mention is that statistics gathering has become far more accurate in recent years. It’s becoming increasingly easy to gather data now, with the internet and a cell phone in every pocket in America than it has ever been before. Moving forward with a grain of salt, there is more than one way that someone can determine his data. The single-motherhood statistics are indefensible if one even wanted to try. Studies show that children develop better in dual parent households, and more children are growing up without fathers, in less stable environments. The failure of 21st century fathers to take care of their children is a pervasive and serious problem, and can easily be categorized as a symptom of America's moral decline. Other stats listed by Bennett are less convincing. The fact that between 1960 and 1990 television viewing rose from 5 hours a day to 7 hours a day is a meaningless statistic. Television programs themselves have evolved, and networks like History, Discovery, PBS, and Animal Planet (not to mention the introduction of 24 hour news networks and CSPAN) are actually informative. Bork has a more dramatic castigation of American morality, one devoid of statistics but stocked up on vitriol and animosity. Bork’s seething hatred of “modern liberalism” is apparent in every line and every thought he puts to paper. His critique of the American justice system seems at best off base, and at worst fallacious. He repeatedly states that America has sunk so low morally that we no longer punish crime. He rails against our high crime rates while we refrain from punishing those who...
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