I may not be the smartest human roaming the planet, but I do observe what is happening within my field of vision and have been for years.
I have often used the euphemism “the country in which I was born” when commenting on aspects of the United States that disturb me. I have noticed a decline in the quality of life for the majority, a destruction of the middle class, and a growth of militarism/guns/fear.
An article in a recent issue of Vanity Fair touches on this subject and points out a major factor causing these changes. It deals with the papers of the eminent George F. Kennan and his confirmation of what I have observed.
I’m not sure if it’s gratifying or terrifying that such an august figure commented on the same issues during his long lifetime in government service. He points out the rise of certain negative aspects of current American life and the decline for the majority. He was an insider, even having a hand in some of the decisions, many of which he later regretted. I was/am an outsider, and he articulates the problem (with no solution) much better and with more credibility. I noticed blurred contours emerging into sharp contrasts over time. I am happy to have lived during a time when life in the United States seemed to have been good. Now, the American Dream is an illusion, a hype, and impossible to achieve...except for the wealthy. I see parallels to Dickensian England emerging in a land that was supposed to be “better”...which is sad. It did not have to be this way. Unfortunately, following the upcoming presidential election, things could deteriorate further.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.