As I view various news programs, I wonder if they're reporting on the same universe. How can any event, presented as something so obviously good by one network, be reported as being so sinister by another? How did it get so crazy?

Let's take three coins, two pennies and a nickel, and place them on a table with the nickel in the middle. Let's have the nickel represent the middle viewpoint of the average 1950 American, neither conservative nor liberal. Each penny represents left and right views. In the 1950s, most Americans held middle-of-the-road views concerning marriage, family, frugality, rewards for hard work, parental roles, sovereign national borders, the minimal amount of government's intrusion into their lives, and America first.

Now, let's place 15 pennies to the left of the left penny. We now have a row of coins that are left to right: 16 pennies, one nickel, and one penny. So what's my point? When you view the newer, longer line, that 1950s' middle-of-the-road view is way over on the right. In fact, it may be called ultra-right, or the evil ultra-right.

During the Vietnam War era, the colleges were filled with professors who taught leftist ideas. Their numerous students have replaced them and improved (?) on their teachers' thoughts.

Today, thanks to leftist-taught students graduating in every field, liberal thoughts flourish. The number of pennies on the left continues to grow and the old, middle-of-the-road views apparently move farther and become farther to the right. In fact, they haven't moved at all.

In today's world, failed leftist views permeate the media, the schools, the churches, both political parties, and our society in general. And we are about to reap the rewards of such foolish, myopic thought.

I would be remiss if I did not admit that there was a problem -- one very big, hideous problem -- in the 50s' middle-American thought. Middle America was predominantly white, European, and Protestant. Hispanic, Asian, black, or other minority views received little attention or respect.

Until 1960, Americans had elected only Protestant presidential candidates.

The only television program with Black actors was Amos 'n' Andy. Jack Benny did have a Black butler, Rochester. And, of course, Louie Armstrong and Nat King Cole were periodic guests on TV shows. But (and it's a big but)...southern Black people couldn't vote, and when Louie and Nat appeared in Vegas, they couldn't stay at the hotels where they performed.

Clearly, the American culture needed correction. Hopefully, that problem has been remedied. But, I fear, we've thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Let's get back to our line of 17 pennies and one nickel.

By in large, liberal folks don't even know they're leftists. They have honestly never heard any different views. Wholesome, conservative values (an obvious oxymoron for some of us) will ultimately win the day.

Unfortunately, those of us on the right will have to suffer very painful remedies (probably in the freedom and economic areas) until our enlightened, more intelligent leftist friends come to understand reality.

Walt Osterman is the author of Not Home Yet: A Tale Concerning Israel's Rebirth. He served in Vietnam and is a Bronze Star recipient. He lives in Wyoming.