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Letter: Out With the Old, in With the New

To the Editor:

It’s time for folks like me who’ve lived seven decades to get out of the way and let the new world begin: Out with Town Meeting and in with Australian ballot; out with local school governance and in with regional school boards; out with the dignity of manual labor and craftsmanship and in with college and career readiness for all. Out with high school grades and in with standardized national testing.

There’s nothing worse than us old folks who stand in the way of progress with our old-fashioned values. Oh, how abolishing guilt and sin and hell has worked wonders for society! Look how we have mass shootings on a regular basis and nobody raises an eyebrow — at least not for more than a week.

Look how putting a casino and a peep show in the pocket of every citizen who can scroll a touch screen regardless of age has liberated our children from the Puritan morality that drove us old folks to the psychiatrist’s couch.

Look how cracking down on that doorway-drug marijuana has built hundreds of new prisons, filled them with inmates, and made thousands of jobs available for security guards.

Look how no-fault divorce has ennobled the institution of marriage and made our children optimistic about building lasting families of their own after a trial-run with an apprenticeship first marriage.

Look how the bundling of banks into mega-banks has enabled home buyers to enter the housing market with faulty mortgage loans and made “foreclosure” a household word.

Look how a college education guarantees huge debt and no job upon graduation.

Look how Big Pharma not only fills our medicine cabinets with pills whose side effects are often worse than the illness they purport to treat, but also with pills that turn our children into addicts and sometimes victims of overdoses.

Look how governments have reneged on pension promises and left workers high and dry after 30 years of service.

Yes, sir. Let the new world begin. Who needs old-fashioned ideas like keeping your word, anyway?

Paul D. Keane

White River Junction

The writer is a member of the Hartford School Board.