Anyone steeped in real history knows that America has always represented the best and the worst of humanity. Its ideals are the best. Its practices not so much so. But its longterm direction has always been toward reaching for its ideals — at least north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Moreover, the fact that its political conventions and campaigns have always been cheesy affairs is nothing new. And I agree with Bill Maher that the American electorate is really pretty lazy and dumb.

And I, also, agree that you write you piece with great sophistication. Yet, it smacks of a nonproductive cynicism that say you don’t give a crap about helping to drive the nation to an ever better place, because to do that would be to appear corny. So what is your point?

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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