What happened to this nation? What came over us? How could we, we particularly, we of all the peoples of the earth, we who have always boasted of our courage and our confidence and our belief in ourselves, our respect for each other, our trust in our own people, our faith in our institutions of self-government—how could we fall from ourselves so far? And into such morbid and unmanly fears? Into such spiteful hatreds? Such hysterical suspicion of each other and ourselves?
Archibald MacLeish, “The American State of Mind,” The American Scholar, Autumn 1950