The cultural self-regard is wildly inverse to its justification. The society being, as often as not, more inclined to assume that it has accomplished more than the primitive rubes that came before it, while at the same time proclaiming every problem, every issue that it is facing as the worst in human history and unprecedented.Thus, to watch the media, the nation is more divided than it has ever been. This disregarding the over 600,000 dead in the Civil War. Certainly that must count for something, but no. This disregarding the upheavals of the 1960s and 70s, when - just to cite one indicative statistic - from Eisenhower presidency until Reagan, there was not one successfully completed presidency. Kennedy is assassinated, Johnson is so wildly unpopular that he does not seek another term. Nixon is destroyed by the Watergate scandal. Ford is not only not re-elected, he was never even elected - having become VP at the resignation of VP Spiro Agnew and assumed the presidency upon Nixon's resignation. Carter's presidency is a mayhem of double digit inflation and interest rates, rising unemployment, the Iran hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and much else besides.Yet, we are assured that the times are unparalleled in their tumult. When what is really unparalleled is the culture's lack of historical perspective. Its penchant for wild emotionalism and cackling hysteria. Its utter self-regard and assumption of its own virtue, this notwithstanding the aforementioned co-equal sense of crisis. Put it all together and what you have is a society that built upon the shoulders of giants, that has accomplished much and has much to be grateful for. Yet which is too quick to take for granted what it has and is too self-absorbed - eyes down on their electronic gadgets - to appreciate what it has.
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