13 November 2013

Reflections On The Sesquicentennial

Publisher Stephen Sylvia penned some insightful thoughts in the last issue of North South Trader's Civil War. Here's an excerpt:
Steve Sylvia
When I was a youngster during the Centennial, much of Kantor's vision eluded me, but given the sense of nationalism that pervaded in the Centennial era, I recall being somewhat conflicted about his conclusion about a peaceful postwar disunion. I just couldn't imagine the North and the South being two separate nations. As one nation, we had saved the world---twice. We were united by a new highway system that made nationwide travel accessible and appealing. Television was making us all laugh and cry and applaud the same things from Maine to southern California. We were about to conquer space. America ruled the universe and everyone knew it.

Fifty years later I find myself utterly amazed that the cohesiveness and national pride of that era is gone. A half century of assaults, both within and without, by those seeking a bigger slice of the pie for themselves or someone they believed deserved it has brought us to our knees.

Unlike the schism of 1860, today's isn't a geographic separation but wholly ideological ones. America today seems as divided as it was in 1860---or worse. At least in 1860, Americans were united by a common sense of national pride, an adherence to traditional values, and a common moral compass. We were separated primarily by politics and the economies of different geographic areas. Today, it seems we have less in common than we did 150 years ago. (Emphasis mine.)
Question: Why is the national pride of that era gone? Could it possibly have anything to do with what I posted the other day? I recommend the whole piece here.

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