Fear and Loathing in the Leave it to Beaver Generation

Permission is granted to reprint the following article as long as no changes are made and the byline, copyright information, and the resource box is included. Please let me know if you use this article by sending an email to dje@newedisongazette.com.

Fear and Loathing in the Leave it to Beaver Generation

Copyright © November 17, 2011 Douglas W. Jerving.
All Rights Reserved.

Once upon a time there was a Danish writer named Hans Christian Anderson. Hans wrote pretty fairy tales to entertain children. He wrote The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, and Thumbelina. He wrote The Tinderbox, and The Emperor’s New Clothes. Once upon another time a Scotsman named Robert Louis Stevenson took up the pen. He too wrote beautiful tales for children, usually in verse, such as The Swing, The Lamplighter, Bed in Summer, and The Land of Counterpane. A Child’s Garden of Verses nursed many a sleepy head to bed.

Then we have the contagiously soothing words of the great bard Robert Browning who immortalized God Himself in his poem Pippa Passes:

God’s in His heaven—
All’s right with the world!

Most of us remember those words but know nothing about the poem itself. It was disdained by many in Browning’s time because of the less than pristine world the poet offers us. Browning’s vision of the world is darker than we first realize or hope for. A more modern poet, Paul Simon, used the same subtlety to describe the world he knew as a child in his poem My Little Town (excerpts below).

In my little town God keeps his eye on us all
And he used to lean upon me
As I pledged allegiance to the wall


Coming home after school
Flying my bike past the gates of the factories
My mom doing laundry
Hanging out shirts in the dirty breeze
And after it rains there's a rainbow
And all of the colors are black
It's not that the colors aren't there
It's just imagination they lack
‘Cause everything's the same back
In my little town


Nothing but the dead and dying back in my little town
Nothing but the dead of night back in my little town

I was born in 1957. I grew up in the sixties. All was right with the world if you were a kid. We had a Leave It to Beaver World where Father Knows Best. The Mickey Mouse Club assured us that life was wonderful. My Little Margie was the girl upstairs and Annette Funicello did not (yet) have breasts. Walt Disney was not (yet) suspected of dropping acid (probably still just an urban legend).

I attended a very small schoolhouse that bore my name, the same name as the street I lived on. What could make a kid more comfortable than that? The whole world probably revolved around me! It was only in my teenage years that I realized that my friends wished they were Doug-less!

At Douglas Road School we had kindergarten to third grade. Then you graduated to the big school a half a mile from home. Uphill both ways. At Douglas Road, the entire school sang songs in the hallway every Friday afternoon and then went home. At Douglas Road we single-filed out into the hallway once a week for Civil Air Drills. Every student always in the same place at the same time. Then we kneeled down facing the wall; some on this wall, some on the opposite wall, our faces between our knees and our hands over our heads. Folded, the same as when we sang, hands folded, and all in the same place. They wanted to know who we were in case we were no longer otherwise identifiable.

We were taught how to peal back a head of lettuce. We were taught to open a can from the bottom rather than the top. You never know when survival skills will be needed! We might have been nuked the day after tomorrow.

Somewhere along the line it was decided by the powers that were that it did not really matter how much you prepared for possible annihilation, since everyone would die anyway. So why bother with all the formalities? Preparations for the inevitable ceased after the Cuban Missile Crisis was over, but we still were served platitudes instead of the truth. Our “government” and “theirs” had achieved a détente known as Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). To paraphrase George Harrison, the policy was “You kill me and I’ll kill you, and we’ll have a real good time.” (My apologies to Sue Me, Sue You Blues.)

Beaver Cleaver never seemed to be aware of the things the rest of us in his classroom were unwittingly confronting. There was an undercurrent of fear no one talked about and kids only guessed about. Our parents had cocktail parties while we were shuffled off to the monsters under the bed. But we could hear them still discussing monsters of their own. In a child’s world, the best defense was never to get outside the covers.

Somehow we still enjoyed a child’s world of innocence despite the ever-present 6-o-clock evening news. In the sixties, every family watched Walter Cronkite on TV while they ate dinner. And every kid ate dinner around the table with their parents. So every kid saw the broken bodies, flames and horror of Vietnam. I grew up on Vietnam.

All was right with the American world. It was as right and real as a Beaver Cleaver world, or a Mickey Mouse world. Beaver never grew up, and Annette was sent packing before anyone realized she had boobs. But there were silent indefinable currents that flowed over us. Communists were in our government. Racism threatened our minorities (there was only one minority back then). Radicalism was taking over our campuses. Fear of the “bomb”. Cartoons portrayed crazies with signs around their necks declaring “The end is near”. Pogo himself said “we have met the enemy, and he is us.” Even as a kid reading Pogo, the most political cartoon of the day, I understood that he was saying some things that I probably should understand.

We all feared incomprehensibly our own apocalypse was on the horizon. Every child at the top of the swing fears that the coming down may be his last. We all had to worry that maybe not everything about the world was right. Maybe the Emperor’s clothes are an illusion.

Loathing was hidden as well behind the perfect TV images we grew up on. We had references to the working class hero, and the idle rich. The blue collar and white collar workers may have gone to the same church on Sunday, but Monday through Friday they were a part of the American caste system. The forces of labor and management were stronger at that time, so the party lines never crossed. On the political side you were either a staunch Democrat or a stalwart Republican. No one heard of an Independent back then. Oh, there was a Socialist party. And some Commies were in Hollywood. But Joe McCarthy was on the case.

You had to keep your guard up for God, Family and the American way. Infiltrators were all around us, using the benefits of our free society to destroy us from within. And they really were every where. Atheists and progressives were well on their way to taking over of our schools and our courts. The news media was a conglomerate of the rich, serving the military – industrial complex. Homosexuals possibly were infiltrating the top ranks of government. Maybe even the FBI! A Catholic was in the White House, while others were manipulating Hollywood. Rome was portrayed as the only sect in America truly concerned for the downtrodden and the orphan. Protestants were epitomized as Elmer Gantrys only invested in what they could gain from manipulating the stupid masses.

Everyone in America was sleeping with one eye opened for fear of the pinko next door. Everyone in America had their finger pointed at every one else, worrying that they may be the culprit. It was the rich. It was the poor. It was the South or the North, or the farmers. It was them uppity blacks, or them damned beatniks and hippies. Why can’t everyone just stay in their place? And who let that woman out the door! She should be at home cooking and doing the laundry like every good wife in America.

Fear and Loathing. That has been a huge part of the indoctrination of America by the liberal media establishment since at least the time that Father knew best.

Fear and loathing pitted one group against another; it created divisions where they did not exist; suspicions of people who were as concerned as we were about the struggle to maintain our national identity. These are and always have been the weapons of the left and of satanic forces against a people of integrity. Divide first. Then conquer. Separate the sheep from one another and you can kill them one at a time. For the most part, Americans were cohesive, and yes, there really were infiltrators against the American way of life. But fear and loathing caused many of us to forget that there were more of us than them. And that was their goal! Confuse the message and you can take over their minds. Or at least you can take control of the kids.

The communists, fascists, and war pigs of the world all knew that one of the rules of war was to first promote dissent, discontent and suspicion in the camp of the opponents. A foe divided amongst them selves is no match for a combatant united to destroy them. Machiavelli taught that it was fair game for the king to do whatever was necessary to secure his throne even if it meant deceiving all his enemies about their friends. If you doubt what I am saying, go on Amazon.com and find a copy of the now out of print None Dare Call It Treason by John Stormer. In that little book, he exposes how the communists had by his time (the Leave It to Beaver generation) completely infiltrated every institution in America using these same divide and conquer tactics. Then they got us involved in little skirmishes all over the world to spread our troops to thin and waste our money on foreign affairs.

Fear and loathing are still the largest part of the American political scene. Most of what we fear, like the communism of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, is doomed to failure by its very nature. Communism was not self sustaining. Kruschev was wrong when he said “We [communists] will bury your grandchildren”. As a matter of fact, we are burying theirs. Formerly communist satellites are becoming capitalists out of necessity. Economic freedom will sooner or later open the door for intellectual and religious freedom. Despotism, like all sin, has its failure resident within it. We may victoriously anticipate its demise because of its lack of reproductive capacity. The blessing of liberty, virtue and integrity is that it always wins. It may be a long struggle, but the truth is on our side.

Like Gamaliel stated in the book of Acts if a plot is not ordained by God it will come to its own end. (Acts 5:33-39). God is sovereign. God is in His heaven. Everything may not yet be right, but the Master Planner knows what’s going on. The forces of darkness are always on the prowl, drooling after another field goal. But they will not ultimately succeed because they have already lost the game. The cross of Christ has already defeated them.

Rather than fear, our faith concludes that God is still converting men to Himself even in the darkest of times (which these are not!) Daniel 7 details several times over the fact that we have already won. The rest is just mop up exercises.

13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Rather than fear and loathing, we have confidence that the everlasting Gospel will yet turn the hearts of even the most impenitent sinners to God just as it converted Saul, the chief of sinners, to the great Apostle Paul. By grace we are able to see beyond the most horrible traits of any man, realizing that God saved us, and surely He is able to save them as well.


Doug Jerving is the publisher of the NewEdisonGazette.com. You may contact him at dje@newedisongazette.com.


Return to The New Edison Gazette main site.