Cynicism is the mortal sin of my generation.
We had a lot to be cynical about. Vietnam, Nixon, sex, drugs, and all the rest. Every institution we looked to in our youth failed us.
So we grew into adulthood without ideals, and now America pays the price for that. Because when you don’t really believe in anyone, you’re bound to fall for anything. This sounds like a contradiction but it’s not.
When you have solid values you can measure what you’re told against what you trust. When you lack that foundation you will buy false promises.
Those who know the value of a dollar are frugal, which is the route to economic success. Those who fail to value a dollar are spendthrifts, which is the route to ruin. We grew up without that value and are spending ourselves broke.
Those who grow up with religious faith may question it, even reject it, but we measure faith against faith and make a rational choice. Those who feel they’re without faith will take it like hard liquor, become drunk on faith, which is what Mao was saying, and what “mega-churches” are selling.