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America stands at a precipice.
It's a moral precipice of our own making: We're not facing any external existential threat, or any serious economic crisis. Nonetheless, we're at each other's throats in a shocking and unique way. At least in the 1960s, serious issues divided us: the national attempt to grapple with legally enshrined racism, the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War. We have no such excuse now. Yet to view the sheer chaos surrounding the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh is to realize that we may simply have nothing in common anymore, other than our sheer blind luck at having been born into the most prosperous, free, productive country in world history.
Nation - Country - Nation - People - History
But a nation is more than a country. A nation is a people united by history, ideals, culture, institutions. But we've been steadily chipping away at each element of that nationhood.
Our history now divides us. This week, retired astronaut Scott Kelly was forced to apologize on Twitter for the grave sin of quoting Winston Churchill; he tweeted, "I will go and educate myself further on his atrocities, racist views which I do not support." Meanwhile, across America, left-leaning city councils celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day in place of Columbus Day, signaling their belief that Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World was a tragedy rather than a cause for celebration. We Americans are in the midst of a serious division regarding our own character: Was America and the West founded on fundamentally good and eternal principles, principles we've sometimes failed to live up to, of course, but principles worth fighting for? Or is America and the West the font of evil, the source of suffering, and is all our prosperity merely the fruit of the poisonous tree?
Ideals - Hand - State
Our ideals divide us, too. On the one hand are "red state"...
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