'Versions of American contradictions have persisted for a very long time, but they seem particularly acute on this national birthday.The question to Americans, as ever, is whether they can summon the spirit to address them. So far, eventually, they’ve found a way. It seems odd that a country so prosperous, so powerful and so free would at the same time be so anxious and angry, so riven by factionalism. It’s even more puzzling, and not unrelated, that this same country, with such resources to draw upon, would nevertheless tolerate such high levels of poverty & homelessness, of addiction to pharmaceutical drugs, of inequality in wealth and application of justice and quality of education. One telling contradiction of who we are: an alarming number of the men and women who patrol the nation’s international frontier, guffawed over anti-immigrant, misogynistic and racist filth on Facebook.'