Sometimes, Emile Durkheim once remarked, a society develops a collective sadness.
That is obviously the case with America today. The Harris poll, showing a pervasive uneasiness in this country, only confirms what all of us instinctively know. An optimistic and confident nation whose Great Seal proclaims it a New Order of the Ages seems to have lost its nerve. And some of the causes of this mood are painfully apparent. After the elections of 1964 and 1972, the overwhelming majority of the American people who had named Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon as their president were forced, almost against their will, to turn upon the man for whom they had voted. Those of us who have always thought of Nixon as a devious, dishonest man someti...
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