My friend (and former teacher) Art asked me what I thought about the current Presidential campaign in the US. Alas, I have no particular thoughts or wisdom.
My basic thought on US politics for years is that the Cold War helped keep the country together. Whatever differences we had among ourselves, we were locked in battle against (godless) communism, primarily the Soviet Union, but also China and, of course, our neighbor off the coast of Florida, Cuba. Any free floating aggression anyone had, well, direct it at those communists, who are trying to destroy our liberties.
When Reagan and Gorbachov put an end to the Cold War on Governors Island in New York harbor, the nation lost a common enemy. The citizenry no longer channel its various free-floating aggressions against the Russians (and Chinese, and Cubans). What to do?
I think a lot of that aggression got rechanneled internally to various targets, giving us the so-called culture wars of the 1990s, which of course, are still with us. Along came 9/11 and the War on Terror was born. Now there was a target. The trouble is, that war hasn't worked out as it was supposed to, and too many American soldiers died.
So, we're stuck.