‘Good ol’ days’ weren’t always so, and we should admit that

I read with interest a recent letter to the editor about the “decline in American values,” remembering the good old days. Well, I am old enough to remember some of the “good old days” myself, and they were not great for a lot of people. I am an old white guy who never had to endure discrimination or hatred for my appearance, religion or beliefs. I, like the letter’s author was lucky to be born here with the advantages that allowed me to work hard to make a living and get a good education.

What I don’t understand is how one can see us a such a great country in the rear-view mirror without being honest about the many terrible faults we have and awful mistakes we have made. It is as if we were pure as the driven snow and that none of the following happened: slavery, Jim Crow, Japanese-American internment, wars based on lies (e.g. Vietnam, Iraq and lots of smaller ones that don’t get much mention) and genocide against indigenous people across the land while working hard to destroy the environment for future generations.

We are a country that has done great good and great evil, often during the same periods of time. We owe a great debt to Native Americans and to those who suffer from racism. It is patriotic to raise these big issues to find solutions and worry less about political correctness and Mr. Potato Head.

Whining about making America into some kind of mythical greatness that never existed shows a lack of interest in solving the problems that we have created. If we could talk about them intelligently without the rhetoric, maybe we could find ways to address them; thereby making the United States a greater place to live and work.

I have worked in several communist countries; and if letter’s author thinks we are controlled and manipulated by the media and government he needs to get out more and see what that really means. We have great resources for people to educate themselves and think critically. Unfortunately, too few people take the time to do so.

Ken MacDicken


Talk to us

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Friday, Jan. 21

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

FILE - In this file photo taken Jan. 6, 2021 at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., two men stand armed with guns in front of the Governor's Mansion during a protest supporting President Donald Trump and against the counting of electoral votes in Washington, DC, affirming President-elect Joe Biden's victory. The open carry of guns and other weapons would be banned on the Washington state Capitol campus and at or near any public demonstration across Washington under a measure that received a remote public hearing Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021 by the Senate Law and Justice Committee. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Editorial: Protect ballots, meetings from armed intimidation

Two proposed state laws would bar firearms possession at election offices and public meetings.

Schwab: Deranged? You might be too if you’re paying attention

When blatant lies and attacks on democracy are accepted without question, madness is all we have left.

Everett School District deserving of support for levies

As a graduate of Everett Public Schools and a parent of three… Continue reading

Provide more detail on covid numbers

It might be nice to have a few more details about hospitalizations,… Continue reading

What’s to come when some can’t accept a loss?

Growing up hundred years ago (or so it seems) it was always… Continue reading

Was commentary meant to be funny?

University of Virginia professor Ken Hughes in his recent commentary mounts his… Continue reading

Comment: Supreme Court ruling a big win for Jan. 6 committee

The decision means the Oval Office’s legal privileges don’t prevent presidents from being held to account.

Comment: Why omicron gets past some — but not most — vaccinated

Our immune systems are diverse, for good reason. But that means vaccines offer less protection to about 1 in 5.

Most Read