The Carpetbagger Report � Give until it hurts? Not these days: "I fear that the cancer of extreme individualism, planted by President Ronald Reagan and nurtured by Bush I and now Bush II, has grown so much that it can no longer be excised from the body politic. . . If this is true, if we really have lost our national ability to sacrifice for the common good, we’ve lost more than Social Security and Medicaid. We’ve lost something vital to the American spirit. We’ve lost something that, in the past, made us a great and enviable nation."
This exemplifies an alternative to the coming of the storm, a narrative that accepts that the country has changed, and is not changing back any time soon. The extreme individualism, which characterizes Republican ideology, has its foundation not in the personalities of Republican Presidents, but in deep cultural shifts, which have been underway for a very long time.
Americans were once great joiners. Through most of American history, fraternal societies and organizations were vitally important and involved vast numbers. Heck, the "Sons of Liberty" and the Committees of Correspondence brought about American independence. No more. The Shriners, and Elks, and Tammany Hall are all but gone.
The American People are fat and lonely.