The title America: Now and Here presupposes a change from America then and there. However, when viewed as one country among many around the globe, those changes seem both predictable and superficial.
We still have the same remove from the rest of the world that has prevailed for many generations. The 2008 election rhetoric seemed fixated on the term “middle class,” and I tried to isolate exactly who this “middle class” might be. I found I could not. Unlike most other countries, it seems we are all middle class. We have no crowned royalty or wealth that is centuries old, and, likewise, we have no stone-age hunters and gatherers that can still be found elsewhere. In fact, our rich are modestly so compared to the potentates of Europe, Asia, and the Mid-East, and our poor are well-off by many a truly poor person’s standards. We have no top or bottom. We live in the letterbox format—our work, play and reflective observation confined to a narrow band through the middle of the human condition.
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