For the record, I have been feeling for most of my life like I was living in an alternate reality. It’s best encapsulated by C.S. Lewis when he said:
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
But I don’t think that kind of metaphysical unease is quite what the author of this piece in the Times had in mind when she says that forty-seven percent of Trump voters feel like they are strangers in their own country, or that half of American women feel the same, regardless of party, or that 60 percent of black and Asian Americans do.
The piece makes the expected comparison between our time and the decades before the Civil War when the nation was split by the debate over whether America would be a slave-owning society.
We have the animosity of that time without the intellectual clarity. Slavery was the central axis around which the American debate revolved. Does our debate have a central axis today?
Tough to say, really. When I talk to people who voted for Trump, I get the creeping sense that there is this huge divide between us. But I can’t quite put my finger on any one issue. It’s all of them and none of them at once.
What do you think?