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Nostalgia, The Good Old Days – Who Needs Them?

Updated on March 31, 2014

America needs a visionary for the future!

During the past, and recent presidential election we hear the all too familiar suggestion of “returning to the good old days.” Every candidate talk about returning America to a sense of values. I don’t know about you but each time I hear, or heard that suggestion I get a little queasy in the stomach accompanied by a little bewilderment, confusion, and absolute disgust!

Whenever I hear the suggestion I often wonder exactly what period in time they want to take us back to! Could it be the days of our slave-holding forefathers? Perhaps they want to take us back to the glorious war that then President Polk suckered the Mexicans into – bless his heart. Then again, perhaps they want to take us back to the Civil War when Christians were giving each other an inhumane and thorough smokehouse bashing. Maybe they want to take us back to the glorious days when Americans were slaughtering Indians, buffaloes, and passenger pigeons - and the Indians were scalping Pilgrims. Perhaps the politicians ideas of a good old day moral America was the gun-toting wild, wild west and the Jesse James era?! I certainly hope it’s not these good old days!

Maybe they want to return us to the hypocritical , yet architecturally lovely “Victorian” period when it was impossible to get a divorce, a time when spousal abuse was at it’s greatest peak because married couples loathed each other and the only way out was death, hence the phrase “until death do us part.” A time when women were treated like spoiled meat! This was also the period of shoddy treatment of immigrants and minorities, of cross burnings, drunkenness, cocaine addiction, mass poverty and labor unrest. In fact almost every well known figure in the medical field was high on cocaine as cocaine was considered the wonder drug. Sigmund Fraud himself did his best work under the influence. Maybe…just maybe they were referencing the historical period of the glorious war that William Randolph Hearst suckered the Spanish into – they never saw it coming – bless their hearts!

How about World War I when once again Christians were giving each other an inhumane and thorough smokehouse bashing? Or the glorious 1920’s when Americans went on a spending trip with their newly earned war profits- you remember this period it was the time of prohibition, gangsters, unsolved murders, unchecked mobs, and of course the Wall Street Crash . Ah yes - the good old days of old fashion American values!!!

Perhaps what they really want to do is take us back to the time of “brother can you spare a dime” - you know – the 1930’s and the 1940’s and World War II when again, Christians were giving each other an inhumane and thorough smokehouse bashing! Or perhaps they want to take us back to the 1950’s when once again Americans were carelessly spending their newly earned war profits. Ok Mr. Politicians why don’t you take us back to the 1960’s – those glorious days which ushered in the concept of ‘father knows best’ when the fatuity of it all turned our stomachs and opened our minds to a useless war which took the lives of thousands of our young men causing an industrial labor shortage. Yeah, you know, the Vietnam War. Uh huh!!!

How about the 1970’s when we had a maniac president who spent most of his career trying to convince us that he was not a crook. Or, the 1980’s when we had a dimed-light president with the most corrupt administration in the history of our great country - not excluding that of the great Warren G. Harding!

How about the good old days when America was changing from a producer to a consumer nation? Ah yes, the good old days when our politicians began to sell us out to what used to be third world nations who now control the American economy by buying our debt, boycotting our exports under the so called Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA and holding us hostage to threats of immigration overloads, crude oil import reductions, euro currency demands for payments of goods, terrorism, and credit denials. Allowing them to control our resources has given them the power to control our world.


The problem is that our political leaders want nostalgia. They want to always go back, if it’s only for one day and not have to face the challenges right now or tomorrow. They’re hoping for the glorious days of the Hollywood black and white movie where the masked man in the white hat, on the white horse always arrived on time to save America at the last possible moment. When this doesn’t happen they start looking for one liner heroes like John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, or House – the TV doctor who despite his arrogant, obnoxious approach always saves the patient at the last possible moment. But since none of them were available America settled for Barack Obama - who ran on a platform of change. Yes Sir - when the rest of the world was cringing in terror from an uncertain America Barack stood tall. While on the campaign trail facing our man of a million lies, Barack Obama stood tall on nostalgia disguised by a message which suggests change. Yes, take your changes and you go give the enemies of America hell Barack – that’s what we did! This was the advice from George W. Bush. Advice from the old Captain Stupid to the new ship of fools who think that America will prosper by going back to the “Good Old Days” Nostalgia, that’s what they think we want, a time when the buck stopped somewhere, and you could allegedly still buy something with it. A time when television was in black and white and so was everything else.

Well, congratulations Mr. Politicians, you have succeeded in your desire for nostalgia. Here’s the current status; wall street is shaky, the housing market is still in a slump, the government has taken over financial institutions and major corporations, war related items are hot, unemployment is at an all time high, jobs are down, money is scarce, racism is up, human rights is down, the threat of war with Iran and North Korea is a lingering possibility, Israel and Palestine is still testing weapons against each other at the cost of innocent lives, peace is uncertain, and common sense is at an all-time low. While all this is happening you’re looking backwards to the good old days and pretending that none of what’s going on in the present is real!

Nostalgia - just keep clapping your heals together and repeat – there are no days like the good old days, there are no days like the good old days, there are no days like the good old days and watch the country continue to spiral down the slippery slopes of hopelessness and despair due to a lack of visionary planning.

Forget the Good Old Days. They were never really that good at all! It’s because of the perception of the good old days that America has developed a warped sense of values. We want to return to what never was. We need politicians with a vision. We need visionary leaders for such a time as these! In this day and time why do we still have so much alcoholism, drug addition, rape, murder, incest, battered spouses and children, panhandlers, derelicts, homelessness, and street gangs? Why is the economy no better off than it was sixty years ago? Why are families losing their homes and retirees losing their pensions? Christian values appear to be no more than a perception of a dream gone wild! Civil rights, human rights, gay rights, women’s rights, immigrant rights - it’s all wrong – These struggles are nothing but rollover issues from the so-called good old days that was never resolved. Our political leaders appear to be victims of “Selected Amnesia” remembering what they want to remember and forgetting what they choose to forget. All of a sudden Tricky-Dick Cheney, the man who called for a global bloodbath in the name of protecting America against terrorists is suddenly getting more media attention than those calling for a new direction. The man who’s idea for global security was ‘Blackwater” whose slogan was “shoot to kill and save airfare on a one way trip to Guantanamo because we’re just going to kill them anyway!” Dammit - you liberate one country and the whole damn world wants liberation!!.......and according to nostalgia - the so-called good old days...our politicians will vote America to be the hero ridding on the white horse with the latest weapons waving the American flag of hope, freedom, and democracy for all - from Iraq to Crimea!!!

Nostalgia, we don’t need it! Unfortunately, that’s all we’re getting. So, President Obama – you've had four years to turn things around on your platform of 'change'. Granted, no one should think, or should have thought that it was going to be easy. Nevertheless - it's been four years - actually six years of the same old politics. The only change we've seen has been faces in the white house - but the politics of economics, democracy, social, military, vision is the same. What we really needed was a better vision for the future. We need for the next presidential election is a visionary with a real plan to prepare us for the 22nd century.

My question to your Mr. President is similar to the one the apostle John posed to Jesus which was ”Are you the one - or should we wait for another?!

We're struggling here Mr President - Help us out!


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    • jxb7076 profile imageAUTHOR

      James Brown 

      6 years ago from United States of America

      GlstngRosePetals - thanks for the comment and insight. It's going to be truly interesting to see where we're at in 2020.

    • GlstngRosePetals profile image


      6 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      Very interesting article of the good old day. But when you reflect on those so-called good old days their really not so good are they. Their is a photo of the president with the book The post America and his finger separating the pages in the middle of the book. We are in a lot of trouble as a nation and looks like history is going to repeat itself. Great hub Voted up!!

    • politAFRO profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      I think this was a good hub. I have to agree that I don't miss the "Good Ole Days". I don't miss them because they never existed. 

      James A. Watkins throws out a lot of statistics about black children being born out of wedlock. Did this really just start happening? Or did this really just start getting properly reported because in the "good ole days" nobody knew or cared how many black kids were born out of wedlock.

      Furthermore, the "good ole boys" from them "good ole days" probably didn't properly report how many white kids were born out of wedlock we know that the census has "never" been properly counted which caused some "good old" people to be disenfranchised in them "good ole days."

      As a Black Man, I definitely am not trying to go back to the "good ole days" when Bonnie Sweeten, Charles Stuart and Susan Smith could tell the police that "a black man did it" and the whole STATE would convict me without a trial.

      Them "good ole days?"

      NOPE NOT ME!

      I like these "good new days" where I own my own business and can purchase a home anywhere I like and I can work hard and get paid!!!!!!!!!!

      LOVE these "good new days" where I watch my kids looking up to me and me telling them that yes...if you get an education and work can do anything... you can even be President of the United States!


      I like "these" days!

    • jxb7076 profile imageAUTHOR

      James Brown 

      9 years ago from United States of America

      Hello James - thanks for the kind comments. Yes, my dad was a man who did not believe in excuses or sad stories. The woodstock generation was really confused. It would appear that they brought in the era of 'me, myself, and I - and - 'it's your thing, do what you wanna do." Well, they did what they wanted to do and we're still paying for it.

      Thanks for the feedback!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Your Dad was a heckuva man to raise eight children as a widower. WOW!  And, as an MP I'll bet he was tough.  Your last line raises a good question.  The Woodstock Generation wanted to change the world—and they did.  But I'm not sure THIS is what we had in mind. :-)

      Thanks for your Hub and the response. 

    • jxb7076 profile imageAUTHOR

      James Brown 

      9 years ago from United States of America

      Hi James - the hub was strictly for entertainment purposes surpported by facts (based on ones own past).  Your data is correct regarding the black family structure and how it has changed over the years.  I was raised by both parents until the death of my mother after my 10th birthday and then I (and my 8 other siblings were raised by my father (who was a retired military policeman during the Korean War) until we were on our own.

      I long for a certain level of nostalgia and find myself referring to the days of a peaceful childhood and simplicity.  The current American social and moral structure, in comparison to the good old days fall short and even though we had problems at least we had a conscience and personal decency.

      Thanks for the feedback.  I wonder how these days will be remembered by our young people.  

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      I humbly submit that 40 years ago when the vast majority of households was headed by a married couple and most all kids had a relationship with their fathers—or at least knew him—or at least knew who he was—were better days in myriad ways. 

      You probably know that 72% of black children are born out of wedlock and to quote President Obama: "They are five times more likely to live a life of crime; five times more likely to live in poverty; nine times less likely to graduate from high school; and 20 times more likely to end up in prison."  [Than kids with both parents]

      According to a study by the University of Chicago this level of single parent households correlates directly to poor test scores and poor income potential as an adult. 

      The black out of wedlock birthrate has jumped from 17% to 72%.  In view of the consequences of this, it would seem that intact families might be a reason for nostalgia of some sort.  In the same period of time the white rate has climbed from 2% to 28%, by some viewpoints even more startling.  I am nostalgic for the days when it was 2% and almost everybody I knew had an intact family of mom, dad, brothers, sisters, grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles & cousins—all bound together by blood and history. 

      But you are correct that there never were purely "good old days" and I'm not trying to rain on your parade.  Your Hub is very good and makes sense. Thanks.


    • tony0724 profile image


      9 years ago from san diego calif

      Rose god bless you ! All of that Is so true . Yeah those were the days, and the music was alot better too !

    • Rose Ella Morton profile image

      Rose Ella Morton 

      9 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

      Goldentoad ? What kind of hog-wash are you talking about. You must be a Republican

      Jb :) great hub. the good old days for me was plays jacks, jumping rope, When no one plan to exercise they just did it having fun. mom never had a job, there was no latch-key kids. missing school was never fun. never worry about dad getting fired. All mother were great cooks. " WOW" them were the days

    • tony0724 profile image


      9 years ago from san diego calif

      I was mexican growing up In Virginia In the 60s and I stood out like a sore thumb . And you know what It was still better !

    • jxb7076 profile imageAUTHOR

      James Brown 

      9 years ago from United States of America

      Thanks everyone for the feedback. I am not saying that the past was all bad. I am just a little sick of politicians referring to the past as something great as if they want to repeat policies and actions which were specific to the times and may not work in 2009 and beyond. There are some things in my personal past that I would not mind repeating because they were in fact good moments. In my opinion the past - in a political sense - is what we use to measure progress. It's nothing we want to go back to or what would have been the purpose of all the sweat and tears! The past is worth remembering - good or bad - but let's improve on what worked and move forward.

      OK, I feel better now. The next hub may be on the great things from the past.

    • tony0724 profile image


      9 years ago from san diego calif

      men are dorks , technology has nothing to do with the current state of man If anything It has made us softer and more diconnected from one another so obviously you like Iconoclast there are both disillusioned .The old days may have had Its faults but what I see In the rise of secularism Is a society unravelinng at an ever faster pace . But of course you two clowns know everything obviously . Read the news once In awhile and tell me what Is so great about present times !

    • men are dorks profile image

      men are dorks 

      9 years ago from Namibia

      Good old days, my butt, what about technology. dont thnk they'll too much apreciate being carted around in a wagon, do they. LOL

      Well done.

    • Iconoclast profile image


      9 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Nostalgia is the mistaken belief that things were generally better during some period in the past simply because they were better, i.e. simpler, for the individual doing the remembering. Some take nostalgia back to periods prior to their birth, failing to realize that those earlier periods suffered higher incedence of disease, infant mortality, starvation, and other ills thinking that their modern survival would equate to survival in earlier periods.

      Morality isn't dead or dying; it is changing. The Christian standard, long used to justify various inflictions of will upon various minorities as well as the environment, is adapting to the realization of the perfidy of justification by pre-destination, or, alternately, faith alone. The humanist standard holds that good men will act with good will to produce good acts for the benefit of as many as possible. This is what has been missing in vrtually all debates on national morality. It has thus far always been about imposing a chosen set of rules from a particular aspect of a specific belief system upon the rest, usually the masses of the un- or under-empowered, like it or not.

      Great post regarding the folly of looking backward while trying to move forward.

    • tony0724 profile image


      9 years ago from san diego calif

      Those day may have had their negatives ,but nothing Is more depressing to me then the modern era ! Morality Is non existant .

    • BkCreative profile image


      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      This makes me think of an on-point bit done by Richard Pryor when he did the old man character. He said...what good old days? I was there - I didn't see any good old days!

      If, I'm fine yet people are being totally disfranchised again and again and again - how can that be good? If I cannot or will not see the suffering of others - how can that ever be a good old day?

      Everything and everyone has to 'change.'

      Thanks for this much needed 'food for thought.'

    • goldentoad profile image


      9 years ago from Free and running....


      I heard an expression the other day, "a return to normal" but months ago, I heard Obama talking about a change to ensure we don't return to normal but I know its what the money makers want. They've dropped all the values of labor and products and services so they can return to investing at small costs then profiting when the value shoots up again. Obama may have the right ideas but the cancer in our society won't quit and very easily a few politicians can start calling Obama naive and inexperienced, undermining all progressive initiatives and next thing you know, we are calling Cheney- Mr. President.


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