Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.Unfortunately for us, that is all too true. Think about it. For those of us who are of an age, we remember when things worked and worked well. And by things I mean things like education, social organizations, local government, and a whole host of other societal components.
We've seen educational fads come and go, each one worse than the last. An example is the bilingual education fad started in California, the reasoning behind it being that children who didn't speak English would be better off being taught in their native language and some English. After two decades it was abandoned once it was proven to be a failure, leaving the kids undereducated and lacking enough skills in English to assist in their assimilation. An entire generation was damaged because the tried and true was shoved aside for something that sounded good but had no scientific basis. (Any linguist could have told them it wouldn't work.)
The last fad was Common Core, something that twisted school curriculum into something unrecognizable and did not teach our kids what they need to know. I expect the next fad will be even worse.
The list of things that were replaced with what sounded good would take up page after page, but I will list just a few of them.
Teaching reading using phonics – replaced with the 'look-say' method. It didn't work.These are things I came up with in just a brief tens seconds of thinking. How many other things can you think of that worked have been replaced with things that sound good, but aren't?
Public works projects – something that would take only a year or two now takes a decade...before a single spade of earth is turned.
Public works projects – once embraced by the public is now resisted with NIMBY and BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone).
“Hold the door, say please, say thank you. Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie.” has been replaced with “Get outta my way!”, “What?”, and “Screw you, buddy! I got mine!”
Hugs and handshakes – replaced with lawsuits, criminal charges, and destroyed reputations.
Dating – replaced with hookups...that can lead to lawsuits, criminal charges, and destroyed reputations.
School discipline, administered by teachers, coaches, and principals - replaced with lawsuits, criminal charges, and destroyed reputations.
“Can do!” - replaced with “You can't do that! You might offend someone who is offended by everything!”