Two things I read this morning got to me, got me thinking, got me even more upset about the State of the Union.
The first was a report that, thanks in part to the opioid pandemic, Americans’ life expectancy is dropping, down now to what it was a half century ago. In most countries, the trend is up, not down. It’s another measure that America, while it remains a great country, obviously a far better place to live than many countries, is in decline.
This has to do less with politics than with culture, in my view. Although better politics — a better national conversation — might help. I believe it would.
Then I read a commentary, equally sobering. It resonated with me as it reflects my own experience. And I think it’s true. See the link below, courtesy of the wonderful “The Browser.”
Here’s an excerpt: “There is a myth of exceptionalism in America that prevents it from looking outward, and learning from the world. It is made up of littler myths about greed being good, the weak deserving nothing, society being an arena, not a lever, for the survival of the fittest — and America is busy recounting those myths, not learning from the world, in slightly weaker (Democrats) or stronger (Republicans) forms.”
Some of my friends think the big problem is capitalism. I disagree. Some think the big problem is liberals. I disagree. I think the big problem is these stupid myths, big and little.
Dear America: wake up!
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