The attachment to post World War 2 America (and to a lesser extent, the rest of the white West) is crippling a lot of conservatives and people who identify with decent family life, real communities and the like who don’t call themselves conservatives/traditionalists/reactionaries. The 1950s was a time of rising prosperity, but it was also a time when the cracks in the underlying individualism of American culture were beginning to have consequences. When extremely popular memoirs contain nuclear families cheerfully spending their Sundays anywhere other than church, it is clear the rot was already present in the Ozzie/Harriet fantasy all too many conservatives idolize.
That fantasy was fantastical then. Some silly person illustrates this ridiculous idolatry by presenting a ‘market image’ of marriage that is exactly what men saw in the 1950s on their TV screens (for the ever-increasing numbers of households that had and got them). And yet the Boomer Generation that saw such images of marriage as little kids divorced at levels not seen before or since. By clinging to a dream that was hollow by the 1950s, conservatives expose themselves as just another kind of liberal, caught up in fantasy and afraid to acknowledge a very different reality. It is possible to do better and advocate for traditional lifestyles and communities without getting hung up on the Pax Americana that only ever existed on TV shows and advertisements that clearly didn’t work in the long run.