Transpartisan Citizen, time to Grow UP: Op-Ed Columnist – The God That Fails – NYTimes.com
I’m enjoying seeing analysis and opinion on societal attitudes and by extension the state of our citizenhood. David Brooks is talking about “resilient societies” and the oposite “….. criticism has been contemptuous and hysterical”. Here is the opening of his op-ed that speeks to the “temper tantrum citizen” phenomenon.
The God That Fails
During the middle third of the 20th century, Americans had impressive faith in their own institutions. It was not because these institutions always worked well. The Congress and the Federal Reserve exacerbated the Great Depression. The military made horrific mistakes during World War II, which led to American planes bombing American troops and American torpedoes sinking ships with American prisoners of war.
But there was a realistic sense that human institutions are necessarily flawed. History is not knowable or controllable. People should be grateful for whatever assistance that government can provide and had better do what they can to be responsible for their own fates.
That mature attitude seems to have largely vanished. Now we seem to expect perfection from government and then throw temper tantrums when it is not achieved. We seem to be in the position of young adolescents — who believe mommy and daddy can take care of everything, and then grow angry and cynical when it becomes clear they can’t……….