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the american sentimentalist
if you haven't been reading the american sentimentalist, you've been missing out on some remarkably perceptive essays on the state of the american nation, its people and its leaders. from a recent post,
Down the darkened and noiseless suburban streets and the trafficked and trod city arteries; across the moonlit stretches of open fields that make up the back counties of Midwestern states and Great Plains ranch lands alike; around the front doors of bars dumping their evening's sustenance onto the sidewalks like last night's lover ready to forget all by morning's light; in the fluorescent humming of the convenience store brightness that shines when no other is open; walk those who no longer understand who runs their world.

Laying in the cold sweat of life's worries in the worn beds of second homes with yesterday's mortgages too dear for today's means; on farms that no longer give up the secrets of the earth to those who greet their daily suns; on commuter trains standing packed toe to toe for a chance to beat the new kid in accounting for one more pay period; and in the hand around the office phone pressed to the mouth to sell and sell and sell some more and maybe keep away that one dreaded call coming to the house at any cost; work those who no longer know exactly why or for whom.

And beating in the heart of all but the most knowledgeable, most well-off, and most well-placed, lie the questions few seem willing to answer or even ask out loud for fear that the very questioning might well crumble whatever remaining hope may flutter in the depths of their hearts. The kind of hope that tells us that maybe the America we wanted to live in was still out there somewhere: that the nightly television images and naked power grabs and outright lies aren't what we signed up for and wouldn't take if they came knocking on our doors. And aren't what we try to teach our children and are no longer how we see ourselves when we look in the mirror and sign on the dotted lines of our futures.
mark anderson's articles are as much literature as political commentary, a must read for me, as it should be for you too :)

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