The U.S. is a Hormonal Teenager

By John Stang

Susan Bodnar at CNN writes about conservative political scientist Charles Murray’s research indicating a gap between wealthy and lower class societies in America.  She compares it to a child like development:

A more inclusive look at the United States might reveal some commonality between beer drinking slouches and latte-sipping, yoga-loving elites who live in accomplishment ghettos. Perhaps this country is undergoing a developmental transition, a kind of socio-cultural adolescence. Teenagers typically manage the onslaught of hormonal and cognitive growth by splitting reality into volatile oppositions, like adults versus kids, up moods versus down moods, or acceptable versus unacceptable ideals of good and bad. They seem chaotic but in between the oppositions kids forge a new adult identity. In our country today, what if the distance between the upper and lower classes is a middle stage from which a more mature and interconnected nation can grow?

Consider what this country has lived through from 1960 – 2010: the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy; Watergate; birth control, in vitro fertilization, organ transplants, a man on the moon, cell phones, computers and the Internet; wars in Vietnam, the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan; September 11; two recessions; the Exxon Valdez, Three-mile Island, and the Gulf oil spill; Columbine, Virginia Tech and the shooting in Tucson, Arizona. They have also enacted civil rights legislation, created opportunity for those with disabilities, accepted changing roles of women and started to comprehend different types of sexuality.  After all these emotionally complex societal events, it makes sense that there are still aspects of our national life that don’t work perfectly. The country hasn’t finished cohering from the messy process of change.

(Credit: Shelby Duchow fro posting this to Facebook)

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