I hope you have a happy Independence Day. Does this Fourth of July feel different this year? It seems that patriotism is at an all-time low, that cynicism, pessimism, and disillusionment about this country are the reigning sentiments. Part of the problem is our political and cultural polarization, but my impression is that both of the contending sides are gloomy about America.
Donald Trump and his supporters wanted to make America great again, but that implies that it isn’t great right now. Some conservatives are criticizing the liberal democracy started by our national founders and enshrined in our Constitution. They think that so much freedom has undermined the family, the community, and the church, and is responsible for the “liberal” progressivism that rules today. Meanwhile, those progressives see America as rotten to the core, with our history nothing more than a record of racism, genocide of the native tribes, and other kinds of oppression.