MINOT, N.D. — Having lunch with a friend recently and discussing the day’s politics, I cracked that the culture wars are a luxury. A product of America’s outsized prosperity.
My point was that so many of us are freed from the life-consuming labor required of previous generations to make a living and maintain a household that we now have oodles of time to obsess about trivia.
My joke was an attempt to find a silver lining to the culture wars, casting them as a side effect of something more positive. Americans have so much more spare time on their hands, even if we may not be using it all that constructively.
The problem is, while we fight figurative wars over nonsense, our country is ailing in ways that we Americans, so used to thinking of our nation as exceptional, may be surprised to learn about.