But in addition to looking back at the near-unanimous national approval of the moon landings in 1969 and ’70 even as the left’s culture war was about to accelerate to escape velocity, 1995′s Apollo 13 also reflects the era in which it was made. The Cold War was over — or at least undergoing an extended time out, and it was also concurrently a strange interregnum in the left’s culture war, when our “liberal” betters in Hollywood and in New York gave their enthusiastic blessings to an America that narrowly rejected moderate liberal George H.W. Bush and replaced him with moderate liberal Bill Clinton.Put another way, once the Consciousness Revolution undoes the strictures of The America That Worked and entrenches itself, and the remaining structure unravels, there's an opportunity to look at the positive parts of The America That Worked as The Good Old Days. Impeachment and global jihad and financial crisis are still in the future. What's instructive, though, is that Mr Driscoll links to a Charles Murray essay in order to reinforce his thesis that consensus, or an America that Works, is fleeting.
Johnson’s own Great Society programs—plus Supreme Court decisions, changes in the job market, and the sexual revolution—would produce a lower class unlike anything America had known before. Changes in the economy and higher education would produce a new upper class that bore little resemblance to earlier incarnations.Yes, and after World War I came The Great Depression and World War II, and the emergence of that evanescent consensus. Perhaps, once Global Jihad or Climate Change or whatever the next Grand Secular Challenge will be is resolved, there will be a new consensus. Or perhaps the big cities are obsolete and the voters will self-segregate even more and national political consensus will be no longer possible.
Half a century after Johnson’s dream of a geographically and culturally homogeneous America, the United States is at least as culturally diverse as it was at the beginning of World War I and in some respects more thoroughly segregated than it has ever been. Today’s America is once again a patchwork of cultures that are different from one another and often in tension. What they share in common with the cultures of pre–World War I America is that they require freedom. In one way or another, the members of most of the new subcultures want to be left alone in ways that the laws of the nation, strictly observed, will no longer let them.