I wonder if society is suffering from a bad case of distended adolescence. Look at all the flashy movies that have been or will be released this summer: lots of big things crashing and exploding, car chases, destruction, and few romantic sub-plots. Just like a 15 year old boy might like it. The same has been happening in political dialog. "I don't want those icky girls to do icky girl things. And those icky gay people are icky too. And I don't want any poverty cooties on me either."
Now I have no qualms about admitting that I'm old-fashioned. I was brought up to not waste anything. We fixed things instead of throwing them away, and we went without in order to scrimp and save for something special. We thought about the future and we helped others. My school had food drives for the community, and support drives to help poor kids in other countries. And we learned to work. We had paper routes and other odd jobs that taught us discipline. Eating out was a treat. Most of the time we ate together as a family.
Yeah, we had a lot of stupid stuff too, such as outmoded attitudes about sex and divorce and sexual orientation, and ugly attitudes about race and religion and other cultures. We're still working on that. But mostly, our political leaders talked about the strength of the nation, education, jobs, and building a better future for everybody.
Today we still hear the talking but actions seem to be few and far between. Our politicians don't seem to be doing things in a very adult manner. There are too many spoiled brats and not enough voices talking about rebuilding our infrastructure, energy independence, health care, global climate disruption, making education accessible, rescuing the working class from economic enslavement, and so on.
Too many of our conversations are about superheroes who are supposed to rescue us from monsters while destroying our cities in the process. That's a pretty good metaphor for our political situation. We're portraying ourselves as heroes, the other guys as monsters, and our roads and bridges and dams and schools and other institutions are being destroyed by neglect.
We cannot wait for the grownups to arrive. We are the grownups.