Here’s a nice article by Froma Harrop on Real Clear Politics. The upshot is that all is not well in the Heartland, that there is a growing unease in America, and it’s not just about Iraq. Consider the opener:
Now and then, a conservative columnist wonders why Americans have grown so sour about the country’s future. After all, unemployment is low and stocks are rising. Sure, there’s anger over the Iraq war and immigration, but things can’t be that bad with the economy humming happily in the background. The implication: There’s little troubling you that a trip to Circuit City couldn’t fix.
Alas, retail therapy will not cure what’s depressing most people — which is the growing sense that America is rapidly losing its national greatness. Up ahead, the public sees enormous challenges and huge threats, and a national leadership that doesn’t care a fig about the communal big picture. They’re witnessing this end-of-empire spectacle, where the powerful grabs as much loot as they can before the bottom falls out — all the while diverting the public’s attention with flag-waving and noisy expressions of religiosity.
“End-of-empire spectacle”. I recall my tenth grade social studies teacher asking the class if we preferred to live in a society that was on the upward swing, at its peak, or on the slide down. There were advantages and disadvantages to each, and each option had its backers. The one thing I felt though, was a near unanimous opinion among my classmates (and, I suspect, our teacher) that the USA was still operating under option one.
I haven’t felt that way in some time and I find that sad.