It’s well known that the American people hate Congress, and it’s no mystery why. Congress is an increasingly dumb and dysfunctional organization that seems incapable of improving our nation. Lice and colonoscopies have polled consistently higher than Congress in recent years.
Living at the country club that is Bowdoin College, I often forget just how much suffering there is in this world. Deep in the stress and sleep deprivation we all experience as Bowdoin students, I consistently fail to recognize that my life is charmed beyond measure and that my experience at this school is, for the most part, one wonderful experience after another.
Whether you view the Constitution as tantamount to scripture or as nothing but a hypocritical piece of parchment, it seems Americans can agree that in these decisive times it is a deeply unamendable document. Yet, during the Progressive Era of democratic zeal that swept our nation from the late 1890s to the early 1920s, many viewed the Constitution as too easily amendable; when this era of reform was finally snuffed out by the economic euphoria of the Roaring Twenties, our Constitution was left four full amendments longer.
Climate change is our Cold War. While Boomers lived in constant fear of Soviet nuclear annihilation, we suffer daily from the thought—the truth—that the life we now live is set to slowly deteriorate. Every morning we wake up to a new report telling us how many more years of inaction we have left before the Amazon turns into the Sahara; thus, every evening, our existential dread builds.
David Brooks wrote in his January 10 column in the New York Times that what is needed now in the age of the “tribal emotionalism” of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders is a third story—one that does not break the world into the “simple narrative” of the “virtuous us and the evil them (the bankers),” but instead focuses on a remoralization of the market.