"The World as I Knew It" ended a couple decades ago, when conservative Republicans first began showing themselves as merely a different flavor of Progressive; when people started filing, and winning, frivolous lawsuits (hot coffee, anyone?); when a sitting President could engage in sexual misconduct in the Oval Office itself and have it excused as "irrelevant to the performance of his job"; when those who dare decry such behavior are themselves condemned as "judgemental"; when "justice" officials began promoting the canard that it's not the criminal's fault that he/she mugged someone, broke into your home, stole your car/identity (these poor souls need treatment and understanding, not punishment); when a court of law pronounced that it was constitutional for a municipality to confiscate someone's unblighted private property and give it to a private developer in the name of "the public good" (and tax receipts); when our elected representatives openly vote to exempt themselves from the lawful obligations they impose on regular citizens; when the concept of the rights of citizenship are "modified" for legal citizens and expanded to include illegal aliens who's first act upon entering the country is to break the law...........................
My early life could be characterized as a combination of Mayberry and the Walton's. I spent a large portion of my formative years on a family farm, though I must admit I've now lost many of the routine farming skills I had as a child. Even allowing for the effect of nostalgia coloring my memories, it was a better, simpler time. It wasn't any easier, just simpler. At least, in our little corner of the world. My grandparents were survivors of the Great Depression and had managed to keep their small farm together through the worst of times while raising a family. From my grandfather, I learned the dignity of working with your hands and providing for yourself and your family; from my grandmother, I leaned some of what it took to keep the household upright financially (she seemingly was able to get a dime's worth out of every nickle she spent).
While life wasn't easy, it was understandable. It made sense. In those long ago days, the adage of "playing by the rules" to get ahead still held.
Times have changed.
Now, people try to get ahead by "playing the system" and there is an entire industry devoted to helping people find (or invent) ways to do just that. Were you "hurt on the job" (even if it was your fault)? There's a law firm waiting to help you punish your employer for not adequately allowing for your clumsiness/incompetence (in some cases, there are doctors waiting to help you create an injury diagnosis that's hard to disprove, in order to win the proper judgement); did you slip on the sidewalk? Sue the shopkeeper (after all even though it's the middle of a snowstorm in winter, it's their responsibility to keep the sidewalk clear at all times, no need for you to watch your footing); were you so unwise as to get pregnant without a marriage, job, or a place to live? There's an entire wing of federal and state government dedicated to rescuing you from the consequences of your poor judgement. They'll simply confiscate the property (income) of others in order to provide for you and your kid(s), and censure them for their "greed" and lack of compassion if they dare to complain that it makes it harder for them to provide for their families.
In today's brave new world, it can actually be seen as mean spirited or even a crime to be too self-sufficient, too successful. We can't have some succeed while others lag behind. It's not fair. In fact, it's established practice in some schools that excellence remain unremarked and uncelebrated in order to not hurt the self esteem of those who, either through lack of effort or lack of ability don't rise as high.
The ultimate result of this pandering to mediocrity, of holding back the achiever in favor of the slacker, is the inevitable decline of all aspects of society: civility, criminality, moral standards, the eventual elimination of excellence in all fields of production, the replacement of rule according to an impartial, objective set of laws in favor of a system of entitlements for certain "disadvantaged" special interest groups and, eventually, the complete disintegration of organized society into nihilism.
I've taken a few steps towards preparedness. I've started paying more attention to what comes out of Washington, D.C. and from my own state and local government officials; I've begun to set aside "alternative assets" against the eventual collapse of fiat currencies (hey, where do you think the money's coming from for the Fed's stimulus and "quantitative easing"?) and I've begun making arrangements for my, and my family's, security; I've begun brushing up on those long-unused farming skills (mostly through reading), though with being gone several weeks at a stretch due to my job a garden isn't a realistic possibility right now I hope to keep the knowledge fresh so I at least have a chance of reviving them if ever SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan); my next object is to build up long-term food storage (the goal is at least 1 year's supply).
For now, I'll keep on as I have for the last several years. I'll continue to educate myself as to what my government's doing, and work to raise awareness of issues I consider to be either dangerous or injurious to personal liberty and individual rights as codified in the Constitution. I'll continue to study ways to promote and strengthen those rights and liberties. I'll do my best to be as informed as I can be in order to fulfill my obligation as a citizen to be an "educated member of the electorate".
Other than that, all I can do is continue to incrementally add to my preparations and try to keep up with the madness our "representatives" keep churning out "for the greater good". The world as I knew it is gone. Perhaps forever. But maybe, just maybe, I can hold on to a small island of sanity as the rest of the world sinks further into the madness of Progressivism.