The other day, we taped a week of shows for Wheel saluting the military, in which all of our players were active duty members of the Armed Forces. We’re always happy and proud to do that, and I always find myself admiring those men and women for their dedication and patriotism and their willingness to sacrifice so much to serve. But it also makes me wonder about what I'm beginning to see as a great divide in this country. I’m not talking about a political divide or a racial divide, but a divide based on—how to best phrase it?—an emotional investment in our nation. John Edwards famously (or infamously) spoke of “two Americas,” but the two Americas I see are the one populated by those who truly think of this nation as exceptional and who are comfortable with patriotic themes and moved by the majesty of the founding documents, and the one populated by those who find all that rather uncomfortable or, perhaps worse, don’t ever think about those things at all.
Is it just our cynical Twitter age? Is it our political class? Our educational system? Is it our modern media? Is it an all-volunteer military? Is it a populace drowning in mind-numbing digital playthings? Why do so many people seem detached from our nation and all it stands for? Why do so many seem blissfully unaware of the opportunities America has provided to countless millions? Or am I just feeling this way after having spent a day with such extraordinary people?