The United States apparently is absolutely perfect, a modern Garden of Eden if you will.
Why else would the U.S. Senate twiddle its collective thumbs over a dress code?
In my humble opinion, the Senate is an august body so its members should dress accordingly. Top hats and tuxedos for men, evening gowns for women and tablecloths decorated with question marks for non-binaries.
Frankly, the American dress code has gone to hell over the decades.
Once upon a time, men wore suits and ties while women wore dresses to church, to the movies, to concerts, to funerals and weddings, to doctors and dentists, to stores, to ballgames, to boxing matches and even to the dinner table at home.
They probably would’ve worn suits and dresses to bed if they didn’t get wrinkled tossing and turning.
It was a given that kids were dressed well in school back then.
If fashion is a language, it says Americans of that era were a bunch of stuffed shirts.
No longer. Today’s fashion speaks casual. You think John Fetterman is the only one wearing hoodies and shorts?
Folks rarely dress up for anything. No matter where they’re going, they dress like they’re going to a monster truck smash or WWE match. The last time a kid wore a dress shirt to school was like never.
I used to wear a suit and tie five days a week. Now I wear sweats and long-sleeved tees. Occasionally I’ll substitute shorts and short-sleeved tees. If the wind is howling icicles as large as machetes, I’ll break out the hoodies.
OK, I worked in an office when I wore suits. I didn’t go full-bonkers casual until I started working for myself at home. But that’s beside the point. Have you seen what folks wear to work these days? My parents dressed better to take out the garbage at night.
Columnists are supposed to see the big picture. Especially aging columnists who need a microscope to see the little picture.
My big picture sees a correlation between fashion and morals.
Casual fashion begets casual morals.
Think about it. When people dressed up, they went to church more and rarely had children out of wedlock. They respected cops and teachers.
These days church attendance has dwindled to a thimble and we’re ready to canonize couples who manage to squeeze in an engagement before giving birth. Cops and teachers are maligned.
America’s moral compass is broken. People are shot dead so frequently we’ve grown immune to it. The killers, by the way, wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a suit and tie while pulling the trigger.
I’m not passing judgment, just making an observation. But the connection is obvious.
If you’re wondering if my current casual wear has given me the loose morals of an alley cat, the answer is no. I’m simply too old to run away with Miss Universe or steal all the gold in Fort Knox. If I were younger, who knows?
After all, I’m hardly a holy roller. I don’t play cards on a regular basis with either the pope or the archbishop of Canterbury. The last time I said a rosary Eisenhower was in the White House. I have a Bible at home, but I would need to tear the house apart to find it.
Thus my conclusion that lax dress codes and lax morals ride in tandem is purely secular.
Please allow me to conclude with this advice: Send your kids to school in tops hats and tails or evening gowns. They’ll not only grow up to be good people, but they’ll know how to handle bullies.
Mike Zielinski, a resident of Berks County, is a columnist, novelist, playwright and screenwriter.