The loss of Shirley Temple and the loss of innocence

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President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “As long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be all right.” We don’t have her any more after her death Monday night, and the truth is we are not all right.

ShirleyTempleShirley Temple and her iconic screen presence were a tribute to an America that believed in innocence, even during a dark era when millions of Americans were out of work and desperate to find a path back to normalcy. Temple’s screen presence, a cherubic, delightful, utterly charming persona, was a balm for those in the audience who needed a respite from the daily terrors of insolvency and loss of faith in their future. …

More than anything, Temple represented the wide-eyed innocence that America once believed was the natural province of childhood.

All of that has changed now. Our children can no longer turn on the TV without seeing rampant sexual activity paraded in front of them; without being instructed in their schools about sexual issues that once were assumed to be more appropriately discussed by adults.

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