"The good old days" are a horrible misunderstanding made by many older US politicians of our time (Time of this writing: 2001 AD). Senators and Presidents look back to their childhood and remember the days playing with their dog in the grass as a kid, or the times they explored the woods with their brother. Then they think of today, and they see trees being cut down by the hundreds, technological breakthroughs causing huge population surges, and the smell of gasoline lingers in the air.
The gruff man thinks to himself, "Times were better then." They confuse development and progress with the responsibilities that come with age. The man thinks that the fancy cars have broken the community bonds, and modern science has broken the religious sense of well being in the country.
The politician fails to realize that the new fancy cars are also safer and enhance community bonds by not killing the community. They fail to realize that science and religion don't have to contradict each other. They are even so naive as to believe that these are the sole reasons. After all they think, why would anyone write religion off as superstitious? Why would anyone wants to spend lots of money on a new fancy car? (Because columns of flame and gas guzzlers make sense of course!)