Now that I am a grandmother, I'm increasingly aware of changes in our culture, both good and not-so-good, that are altering the society we will pass on to our children and grandchildren.
There are a thousand advances in science, medicine and technology which we will proudly leave to our progeny. However, we are also rapidly developing what I like to call a Legacy of Lunacy which our grandchildren will have to sort out, if they can. Here are just two reasons I'm doubting it's even possible.
1. We have outlawed performance-enhancing drugs, those magical potions that enable mere humans to outdo comic-book superheroes in both hard work and athletic performance, yet we are rapidly legalizing marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use.
We've done this, supposedly, because performance drugs can cause ill effects like tremors, nightmares, depression and even brain tumors later in life.
I'm not defending the use of such drugs. No way. But isn't the real reason they're banned just to keep the playing field level in sports so no one has an unfair advantage or gets into the record books by cheating? The fact is, we've caught only a few of the offenders while dozens are already in the record books, skewing things for all time.
On the other hand, marijuana is being legalized even though it also has bad side effects, and they are immediate ... lethargy, depression, tremors, nightmares, and a strange aversion to hard work. Sound familiar?
We've spent 40 years and millions of dollars preaching that marijuana is a gateway drug to harsher, more debilitating drugs like heroin and cocaine. Remember those ads that showed a raw egg and said, "This is your brain," then a frying egg and said, "This is your brain on drugs"? Well, it's still true. As any hardcore addict will affirm, almost 100 percent start with marijuana.
So what are our kids to think? Performance drugs, the ones that make you stronger, smarter, able to work harder and longer - oh, those are bad, bad, bad. But marijuana, which makes you dumber, lazier, dizzy, foolish and perpetually seeking a bigger high - oh, it's harmless.
No wonder our kids have stopped listening to anything we say. In fact, in nearly every public high school in America, it is easier for a student to get his/her hands on a marijuana joint than on a sugared soft drink.
While school administrators and parents focus on eliminating pizza, hot dogs, and Mountain Dew from school lunchrooms, more joints than bacteria are passed around in school restrooms. It gives the word "high" school a whole new meaning.
2. What has happened to the American work ethic? The nanny state is telling our young they don't need to work unless they're getting paid a living wage. But if everyone in every low level job is guaranteed a living wage, two things will surely happen. Employers will have no choice but to hire fewer workers, and the incentive to earn the degree, certification, or promotion that leads to a better job will disappear.
Florida Democrat Alex Sink, candidate to replace Bill Young in Congress, said yesterday that the reason America needs immigration reform is, "so we'll have people to clean our hotel rooms and do our landscaping". Gee, there's a real compliment and incentive to hardworking young Hispanics and other immigrants.
Of course, what else can we expect when our vice president just told all young women they don't really want a career? Instead he advises them to stay home, collect food stamps, and enjoy subsidized Obamacare, all funded by fewer and fewer hard working, middle class taxpayers.
Apparently the Legacy of Lunacy starts in Washington, D.C.