Once upon a time, life in America made sense, at least in everyday comings and goings. There were unspoken bargains of reasonableness in effect. These were the handshakes and nods of fairness in play. When it came to some sort of public issue, there were more tipped hats than launched birds-of-a-middle-finger flocking together.
Of course, back then, we were a hat-obsessed nation, with head coverings of all sorts trickling their way into the language. When we weren't hanging around, hats in hand, we were taking our hats off to this or that person or idea. We even had feathers that others gave us, to put into our caps, thinking or otherwise. You could actually wear a Pork Pie, right on your head.
(We could even do something quite crude to fill up a hat, in one hand, and then wish in the other, in order to find out which event might happen first -- a sort of an early barometer of misfortune and an early betting calculator.)
Life here wasn't perfect, not by any means. But, it was earnest and shared. Then came the birth on these shores of Satire and Parody, the two hipster kids from the big city, corrupting our farm-hand sensibilities as we kept morphing into a nation of city dwellers, where a couple major corporations would come to own all the food and farms, and our roots, in order to keep competition nonexistent, but always espoused, and to give farm subsidies a place to go when they got tired of hanging around the Treasury.