I think I have discovered something. While I am in Germany for three weeks, I am going to take a break from American news. I need to breathe for those three weeks and take long walks and contemplate the beauty of this life as God gives it to us.

I am discovering that while Bernie can laugh off the daily dose of "Crazytown" we are all subject to these days, I don't find much to laugh at. I move back and forth between appalled and complete disbelief. I wonder sometimes how we have gotten to the place where we find ourselves.

I have a suspicion that when any group of people believes a myth of exceptionalism, that group will let their guard down, will succumb to the belief that "all is well..." because the group is, after all, so darned exceptional. There is no need to study, or read, or stay on one's toes when everything is special and exceptional and "great." And slowly, almost surreptitiously, that myth begins to dissolve, to dissipate, to melt away. The sharp edges of that exceptional perception begin to soften. The inner strength of that exceptional image begins to ... yep, you guessed it ... soften. And before we know it, that myth is exposed ... for the empty myth it really is. It is kind of like reading "The Emperor's New Clothes" very slowly ... and getting to the punch line and realizing everyone's pants are down and the world is watching.

Prudence Thayer-Klaene

Lake Placid

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