Do you like your steak rare or well-done….?
If you’re a meat-eater that’s easy. If you’re a culture-watcher, that’s trickier. You will probably say a happy-medium; but America’s history shows you won’t mean it.
I’m talking about how America’s culture tends, like a pendulum, to swing from one extreme to the other. Culture as in our literature, music, art, entertainment, and overall sense of what is meant by the good life.
In the wake of the 2016 election, this pendulum has started to swing hard back to the Right. Back to the pre-WWII values of rugged men, docile women, obedient children, hands-off government, and the Darwinian law of survival-of-the-fittest who deserve to keep what they’ve won.
The contest might be described as Freud versus Darwin. One America is trying to compensate for past force with more feelings. More understanding of women, children, minorities, transgenders, and disabled. This America is awash in public apologies, sensitivity training, and appreciation for our kinder-gentler selves.
In sharp contrast, some of post-election America is talking again about force more than feelings, might more than right, greatness more than goodness. If you see our nation as Reagan’s shining-city- on-the-hill, you will tear a little as you watch us try to grow in wisdom. If, however, you see our nation as Trump’s walled-in-city-against-the-world, you may believe tears are only for the weak.
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