Generation after generation seem to pine for “the good old days,” an elusive time when many of us think morals, institutions, and the quality of life, in general, were higher. Americans are no exception to this rule, but there’s something unique about American nostalgia. While we reminisce about the past, we also owe much of our success as a nation to our forward-thinking culture that embraces the possibility of the American Dream. Today on Political Economy, I talk with Karlyn Bowman about the way Americans view their nation, and the tensions between their love of their past and their strong hope for the future.

Bowman is a distinguished senior fellow emeritus here at AEI, where she specializes on American public opinion. In 1982, she founded “Election Watch,” the longest-running political analysis program in Washington. She has also been a Forbes columnist since 2008.

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