“American Values” Are No Longer America’s Values

In the mid-20th Century, “American Values” were expected to lead the US into an era of continuous growth, prosperity and dominance. In the last half of the 20th Century, the Women’s and Civil Rights movements upset this vision. Now, American Values proponents want to go back for the future. Understanding the roots of American Values will explain why they are anachronistic and will never again become America’s values.

The mid-20th Century saw the beginning (and end) of “America’s Modern Era.” American leaders expected their common vision, i.e. American Values, to prevail long into the future. Everything would remain “Right” (pun intended) with America. However, these American leaders were essentially clones of each other. They were white males and belonged to the White Male System (WMS) as described in Ann Wilson Schaef’s 1981 book “Women’s Reality: An Emerging Female System.”

In the mid-20th Century, the WMS dominated all levels of social, economic and political power including both the Democratic and Republican Parties in the US. As noted by Schaef, they lived according to their myths which are:
“1) The White Male System is the only thing that exists.
2) The White Male System is innately superior.
3) The White Male System knows and understands everything.
4) The White Male System is totally logical, rational and objective.”

The WMS did not anticipate the Women’s and Civil Rights movements that gave rise and power to other Systems such as the Female System, Black System, Unions System and more recently, the Latino System and Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender System. These Systems have methodically wrestled social, economic and/or political power from the WMS.

Chronologically, the political decline of the WMS began in 1960 with the election of John F. Kennedy. It was accelerated by the George McGovern-inspired 1972 Democratic Party nominating rules changes that caused the mass exodus of Democratic Business leaders and Conservatives to the Republican Party. The nadir of the WMF decline has so far been their embarrassing defeat by Barak Obama in 2008.

In the US today, the WMS still exists and it is predominately comprised of Business and Conservative Republicans. All that is now required to belong to the current WMS is belief in their myths and American Values. Ironically, only a minority of white males have these beliefs. Yet, this beliefs-only requirement allows blacks like US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, women like Elizabeth Dole, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman and the Cuban Americans in Florida to belong and lead in the current WMS.

Current WMS persistence lead to reports like following:
Gov. Chris Christie, R-NJ, told CNN’s Piers Morgan that he “is tired hearing about” Warren Buffet’s call for the nation’s wealthiest people to pay more taxes, saying the billionaire investor should “just write a check and shut up.”
Gov. Christie’s ties to WMS myths does not allow him to see the rationale behind Warren Buffet’s call. This is in spite of the fact that Mr. Buffet’s credentials and credibility are far more relevant to the issue. Paradoxically, Mr. Buffet is also one of the largest of the “job creators” that the Republican’s are trying to protect from taxes.

Super PAC ‘s that mostly support the WMS’s American Values have names like “Winning Our Future”, “American Crossroads”, “Restore Our Future” and “Red, White and Blue” that signify the desire to return to WMS dominance and their American Values. Not surprisingly the major contributors to these Super PACs are predominately members of the WMS.

In the 21st Century, Americans are too diverse, belong to too many differing Systems and too many are enlightened to ever allow the WMS and its American Values to ever prevail again. Nevertheless, tolerance by these other Systems have allowed the WMS to regain political control at the state level. This is leading to attempts to restore American Values one value at a time. The long term State assaults on same sex marriage and choice granted by the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision is constantly under assault. Examples include a proposed Virginia State law requiring mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds prior to abortions. The recent Susan G. Komen Foundation’s stopping of Planned Parenthood funding and last decade’s laws against same-sex marriage are more examples of American Values being re-instituted at the State and corporate level.

Prayer and religious displays in public places are also “American Values” that are no longer America’s values. For example, “under God” was inserted into the decades old Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 at the height of White Male System dominance. This changed the Pledge to become both a patriotic oath and public prayer. Changing it back to a patriotic oath only is vigorously opposed by the White Male System event though it would then apply to all Americans and not just believers.

The WMS should not go away but it will increasingly become more irrelevant unless it changes.. They will always remain a minority System like all others. Their myths are no longer compatible with the power structures in the US and need to be changed. Until this happens, the WMS will fight to regain the power and dominance of their American Values even though they will never be America’s values and this will never happen.

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