I am in my 40’s and I have vivid memories of graphic examples of American greatness
I was front and center for the launch of the first Space Shuttle. When I say front and center, we had friends who were important at NASA and we were in the VIP viewing area. The one that was later moved back because the exhaust fumes got on us and ate the paint off the NASA cars. I remember the built in holds and the suspense buzzing through the crowd. I can still smell the exhaust. I still remember the roar of the engines and wondering why I could see the Shuttle moving but not hear it… YET. These memories are all burned in with the clarity that America was unified in declaring this a great triumph.
I was young, but I remember the vitality of the inauguration of Ronald Reagan. Even (reasonable) people who did not vote for him admitted he could do good things. And he DID GREAT things.
When Team USA defeated the Soviets in Ice Hockey. I had never watched more than a quarter out of a hockey match. My family didn’t really know the rules, but we knew it was possibly history in the making and we were riveted to the TV. Afterwards, we joined in with the rest of America celebrating amateur atheletes defeating drug enhanced professionals and in that saw the greatness inherent in our system.
More of a slow wave then a single event; but, the personal home computer’s introduction into our lives. Think Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Intel and Al Gore inventing the internet.
Do you see this fire in the belly of America today? Do you see an emphasis on exceptionalism? Do you see companies taking risks to advance technologies?
Or do you see America acting like the movie industry and just going through the motions with a rehash and spit polish of previous successes?
Or are you like many (myself included) who are very concerned that America has outlived its shelf life. By this I mean.
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.” Alexander Tyler in 1787
And yes, I know we are a republic. The point remains.