A diary on the reclist right now that signs of with 'It Didn't Used To Be Like This.'
All other points in that diary aside, that's pretty common meme in anti-US, anti-US policy comments and diaries.
But, pray tell, you never really see an example of 'when' that was when the claim is made, and so I ask, when was it again where 'it didn't used to be like that'?
Concerned where human rights in the US are right now today? Upon the founding of the country, we pushed West, nearly exterminating the indigenous people in US territory. We've been executing prisoners since then, too.
Concerned about civil rights today? Women could not vote until the beginning of the 20th century, and Blacks could not vote unencumbered until the 1960's. Women are still not free of abortion restriction. Gay people were barely acknowledged in the US prior to the AIDS epidemic.
Concerned about healthcare today? Nobody had healthcare they couldn't pay for until Medicaid and Medicare were established.
Concerned about military actions today? Please point me to the 'Pax Americana' period in US history. The only decades in a row I can think of with little or no foreign military intervention has a big fat civil war in the middle of it.
Concerned about social benefits? More people are on the various rolls of benefits than ever before. Having more jobs available in 1950 didn't mean those benefits were any better back then than they are now.
Concerned about jobs today? NAFTA was the most recent major decision negatively affecting them. Surely you can't point to the 70's and 80's as a 'good time' for American jobs.
Concerned about unemployment benefits today? In 2010 they were extended to as long as they ever had been. They weren't available at all until 1935.
Concerned about immigrant rights? Sure, they could at one point just cross the border, just process through Ellis Island...but there was NOTHING else for them, and rampant discrimination, poverty, and lack of social and financial support.
Concerned about torture today? Let's not kid ourselves that sleep deprivation or forcing people to nourish themselves is worse than 1. what happened in the Bush admin 2. what happened during the Cold War 3. worse than just killing people
Of course, all of the above doesn't mean that any other country was 'better' than us at any point, or that they have any more reason to lecture us than we do them (though you could certainly claim that because of our historical and current behavior, we have no reason to lecture anyone whatsoever), but I finish with the question I ask in the title:
It 'didn't used to be like this'? When was that, again?