America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, March 6, 2017

Most of us have been conditioned since childhood to recognize warning signs and heed them before the trouble they portend hits us in the face. Most Americans are optimistic by nature. It’s one of our great strengths unless it morphs into denial about impending problems.

There’s a nearly irresistible temptation to assume that the brake fluid puddled under your car must have come from someone else’s vehicle or that the baggie filled with a suspicious substance you found in your teenager’s pocket must have been planted there by someone else. How many red flags does it take to wake us up?  I’ve even been shocked, lately, by the number of people who ignore tornado warnings.

TornadoWarning

I’m old enough to remember Watergate, when President Nixon’s denials of wrongdoing and his increasingly aberrant behavior over many months resulted in a crisis of confidence even among his most…

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