What is the American character? Are we strong, quiet, righteous, dignified courageous and resourceful, willing to look out for the weak and stand on principal? Or are we whining, victimized, angry, frightened cowards who put ourselves first and disparage those who don't look like us? Do we despise empathy and worship selfishness and celebrate ignorance?

Where are those small town values? Those family values? Where is the rugged individual? Where is the principled  American Character of our movies and lore? Do we blame others, insult others, mock others, cheat others, hate others, shoot others?

Have our reality TV Shows and our commercial media instilled a sense of hyper-competitiveness in every aspect of our lives? From shows like "Survivor" which encouraged lying and betrayal, to "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" which encourages spoiled opulence to the myriad daytime TV shows that peer into domestic strife like rubberneckers past a car wreck. Have on-line habits trained us to judge/review/comment on every aspect of our lives with an air of self-importance that discourages humility? 

Who benefits from this divisive degradation of the national character? Who benefits from a society fueled by anger, hatred and resentment?

A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America by Bruce Cannon Gibney

The Brainwashing of My Dad by Jennifer Sanko