He (Levin) makes a strong, data-driven case that by every measure, America today is a less cohesive nation than it was in the immediate postwar era. We are politically more polarized, economically more unequal; socially atomized, religiously diffuse. As the culture and the economy have liberalized, giving the individual more lifestyle options and consumer choice, the bonds holding Americans together have become much thinner.
It is no accident, then, that Washington has come to resemble the savage stalemate of trench warfare, the economy has stalled, and the culture war seems like a forever thing. And our politicians are apparently powerless to reform the system, resolve its major issues, and move ahead.