…and the home of the…?

Dennis Prager pens a very interesting column which explores some recent news stories and trends in America today.  He writes:

I have a sad confession to make. Whenever I hear or sing the national anthem, I no longer fully believe its ending — “o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” We have many freedom-loving and brave Americans — just think of those in the armed forces. But overall, risk has been banned as Americans seek to be immunized against pain.

Would anyone seriously argue this claim?  Or Prager’s ultimate conclusion?

Once the home of the brave, America is becoming the home of the risk-averse and the pain-avoiders. And when you are risk-averse, you are not only less brave, you are less free. With freedom comes pain, a price more and more Americans don’t want to pay.


  1. I agree. I’m also very comfortable in my freedom.

  2. “Risk may lead to pain, and the Left dreams of a pain-free life.”

    So the recent whining about”uncertainty” was just another lefty/socialist plot?

  3. Hmm. Tossing out a one-line response isn’t exactly engaging discussion, is it?

    Hey, I’ve been arguing the stock market crash when we met Obama was orchestrated to get him elected for a long time, but no one really listens to me. Lots of people who live within their means weren’t as worried as those who had stretched debt to the maximum. Finally, I’d argue there’s still a great deal of uncertainty out there, especially financially. The predictions indicate we aren’t done with the housing collapse.

  4. \”Hey, I’ve been arguing the stock market crash when we met Obama was orchestrated to get him elected for a long time, but no one really listens to me\”

    You are being sarcastic, right?

    Uncertainty is a constant.

  5. I don’t know if it can be extended to every aspect of life, but one place where I think the leftist attitude is definitely one of risk adversion is raising children (and especially boys). Where do you think the movements to ban dodgeball (it might hurt ones feelings to get knocked out of the game) or to stop keeping score in a game where one team is dominating the other (too traumatic!) comes from? The right???

  6. Oh, no, I’m not.

    Some uncertainty is a constant. The whiplash we’ve recently been through is different. Now that the congress is more balanced I don’t think people will feel so shaky about the future.

    Ryan, two very good examples. I’ll offer the risk of earning a C on your report card. They rewrite whole curriculum so everyone can get an A.

  7. …and then they get rid of class rank to cover up the fact that your 3.6 GPA is really not all that impressive after all. 🙂

  8. @Cindy,
    Or do they rewrite the curriculum to close the achievement gap? So former C and D students can get an A. While traditional high performers get .01 shy of an A, therefore a B.

  9. J. Strupp says:

    Why is Prager so worried that folks are apprehensive about the future? Fear is the only thing Prager sells. Why should he care? It’s good business for him.

    “I explained to them that they have grown up in a different America than I did. The idea of telling an American that a pro football game is canceled because he might drive in bad weather strikes a conservative over 40 as demeaning.”

    Remind me again which generation has instilled this so called “wussification” of America in today’s youth?

    I love being lectured by members of the boomer generation, who knew nothing of World Wars, nothing of Depression, nothing of real world tyranny but seemed to loath everything about the generation of their parents who did. Of course I generalize, but guys like Prager seem to forget that they are as responsible for “wussifying” the kids as the kids themselves.

    Conservatives over the age of 40 have been running the show for about as long as liberals have. Nothing seems to change on this front when they run the show.

  10. “Remind me again which generation has instilled this so called “wussification” of America in today’s youth? ”

    Prager’s generation. Which is exactly why he abhors it.


  11. J. Strupp says:

    So he abhors his generation except for stronger, tougher, thick-skinned Republicans like himself.

  12. Hate to differ, but I don’t see a left/right wussiness of parenting, I think it is generational. I’ve witnessed as many ‘helicopter moms’ that are Right-leaning as Left. Probably more that I consider all the parents I’ve watched interact with my husband in his 35 year career as an educator and coach. Both moms and dads are much more protective, and defensive of their children in the last 10-15 years. Can’t agree that the behavior is aligned with a political ideology.

  13. I would agree it is not purely a left-right issue, but I do think that political persuasion does factor in rather heavily.

    For example, there exists a book called “50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School: Real-World Antidotes to Feel-Good Education”. It decries, among other things, the “modern bubble-wrap mentality” of “no losing, no disappointments, no harsh reality checks” that plauges the daily lives of most kids today. In other words, exactly the sort of thing that Cindy and I are talking about above.

    If you had to bet your life on it, would you guess that it was a well-known figure on the right or on the left that authored this book?

  14. “So he abhors his generation except for stronger, tougher, thick-skinned Republicans like himself.”

    You are trying to personalize the issue. The point of the column is not about individual people, but rather about values. Prager abhors the values that his generation has passed along and explains how they have made America a worse place. Doesn’t mean that some of those who hold these values aren’t wonderful folks.

  15. I still say the parents’ mentality is what drives wimpy school policies that you list. It is not just driven exclusively by public school educators. If your premise was accurate, predominately Conservative school districts would not employ such policies in their districts. ALL communities suffer equally in wussy, protective attitudes. It is not ideological, but, I think, the result of a shift in parenting attitudes which believes we must GIVE out children whatever they desire. This is not GOP or Dem driven, bit maternally and paternally driven, I observe.

  16. The Lorax says:

    I think RL is spot on; I’ve lived it.

  17. Randy in Richmond says:

    We have conservative county school systems here but in many cases the administations and teachers are not that conservative. It is hardly ever the other way around. And many of the policies, for example, the no tolerance stance, are dictated by lawyers and fears of having to make tough decisions.
    In the nearby districts here, I strongly believe elected, not appointed, school boards contribute greatly to the wimp factor.

  18. The Lorax and I are in agreement? Well, well.

    I live in an extremely consistently-voting GOP school district with an elected school board. While I have thought what you posted, RIR, in your post, I don’t think that can always or is typically the case–voters aka parents do the electing and really do have the reigns on policy– if they choose. They do not choose. And, in my husband’s case, he has taught in private school systems and those predominately conservative-minded parents have become consistently ‘wussier’, whineyer, and protective of their offspring. I stand by my observation. Righties are as bad as Lefties on this.

  19. Currently, listening to Congressman Hensarling (R-Texas) whine about uncertainty on Kudlow.

    Apparently he has zero tolerance for it?

    He thinks the path we are on is unsustainable.


  20. How about this for a generalization:

    The right thinks uncertainty is a significant problem at the macro level…. for example, if small businesses don’t know what the tax rates will be next year, they might not expand where they otherwise would. So minimizing uncertainty in this context is a virtue

    The left attacks uncertainty at a micro level. For example, in the health care debate, most of their examples revolved around individual cases. “Well Barb in Daytona Beach had a problem with her insurer and didn’t get the treatment she needed that day…”

  21. J. Strupp says:

    That’s because they think your husband is filling their kids’ heads with socialist propaganda designed to destroy the fabric of our nation, RL.

    I kid. But that might actually be more true than not unfortunately.

  22. Nah. If it’s anything like around here, it’s because “little Johnny is the most special boy ever! He’s super talented and will probably be able to earn a living playing basketball. It will at least get him through college at Harvard on an athletic scholarship.* And besides, every somersault he ever performed was perfect. Absolutely perfect.”

    *It’s my understanding from a Harvard grad they never give athletic scholarships.

  23. J. Strupp says:

    Hey I agree with you there. This subject brought up memories of when we used to play Little League baseball in the summer and Parks and Rec. basketball in the winter and how much has changed since then (and I’m young).

    These days, little Johnny has to play on the “club” baseball team that plays tournaments out of town 4 months a year and then he has off season training and out of town baseball camp all winter so he can keep his major league dream alive.

    These parents must be outta their damn minds to get swept up in this kind of stuff.

  24. Oh, J. Strupp, I do enjoy it when we finally agree so wholeheartedly.

  25. J. Strupp says:

    Embrace the moment.

  26. You’ve given me something chuckle over, J.Strupp, imagining any nuance of socialist ideology uttered by The Hubby. Hardly an agenda of his, particularly in math class.

    My take matches Cindy. Totally. I see rampant idolization of one’s own child. I don’t know if it is that parents have become so ‘professional’ at parenting, or if they are reliving ( or reconstructing) their youth, or in some convoluted way they actually think thier child’s accomplishments are a a measure of their own self worth? Whatever, it is not healthy or helpful to those kids to be coddled in to adulthood.

    As for the sport/ star athelete scenerio painted, that hits the mark. In 35 years of watching my husband’s basketball and soccer teams play and seeing some incredibly gifted and talented players, only 2, pehaps 3 kids were given full-ride athletic scholarships at D1 schools. ( Granted, he’s been at smaller private schools.) oh, and guess what, none are professional athletes. I know of only 2 kids in our public schools that had a limited run in pro sports. The numbers don’t compute for all those folks who believe their kid is heading for a Free Ride or the pros. Ain’t happenin’.

    BTW. The athletes that are most talented that I’ve watched over the years have: a physical, genetic gift of an athlete’s body-type, mental quickness and physical grace, an ever-increasing drive and passion for competition, and a work ethic that puts most to shame. I don’t think those qualities are teachable in a camp.

  27. Apologies for iPhone typing errors. Don’t know why I didn’t hit the handy-dandy spellcheck icon before posting. 🙁