The 1950s: the days when men were men and women were ribs.
Things were good. People were having lots of babies, buying homes, going to work, earning a pension and creating a booming middle class.
This is was all glorious for the white male of course. Women, fresh out of the factories in World War II, were put back into the home relegated to cooking, cleaning and raising children. Men wanted it that way and they kept it that way.
Minorities? They had to sit in the back of the bus. They couldn’t share the same lunch counter with whites. If they so much as looked at a white woman the wrong way, they risked being lynched or beaten to a pulp. If they had the courage to be a minority leader, they were routinely shot dead.
There are so many conservatives who, if you listen to them, talk fondly of the 1950s. Despite the inequalities, it was a good era economically. Unemployment was low. Inflation was nonexistent. Debt? What was that? A Coke was a nickel. Gas was cheaper. You could pray in public schools. Nobody locked their front doors. People were modest. Homosexuality didn’t exist. Everyone respected authority.
Conservative fundamentalists are trying to drag us back to that decade, claiming that it is quintessential America. Returning to this great time will make America great again. Women need to stop dressing in skimpy clothing. Men need to run the household. We need to stop being promiscuous. The Bible needs to be put back in the classroom.
Exactly who would benefit most from this return to Eden? It would probably the same folks who had it good the first time around. And if you did manage to move America back, the world likely isn’t going to follow.
When you hear the Right wax poetic about this past era, they neglect to mention that almost half of all American workers belonged to a union, minorities were still being killed for no good reason and women were stuck under a Bell jar. I guess we are all supposed to forget about that. We’re supposed to believe that the Post-war age was a great time for everyone and all prospered.
Conservatives want us to buy a version of history that never existed. America has changed. It is time to move forward.
Let’s not forget that the calm, stable 1950s gave birth to the 1960s. Any conservatives want to relive that groovy era?