OK, I obsessively think about history...I try to understand why things have happened, why the recent past has been like it's been. In thinking about the vast social destruction that I've seen in my life and in the lives of others I can't reduce it to Reaganite economics no matter how hard I try. There's another element to it and unfortunately I think that element is, as the conservatives argue, the social consequences from the liberatory movements of the sixties and seventies: the sexual revolution, women's liberation, black power, cultural liberation, general workers rights awareness, a shift to a more popular culture. It seems to me that these things released energies which people weren't neccesarily ready to deal with and that the genie couldn't be put back in the bottle. I differ with conservatives in that I think that although there have been some bad consequences that these things have ultimately made the United States a better place, a freer and more open society, more inclusive, more genuinely a representative democracy (although these days that feature is sort of eclipsed). I think that whenever a group of people get liberated that there's always a learning process...how to make it work...and that learning how to make it work is a tough process but that ultimately it's worth it.
I think the United States will figure it out. I think we'll figure out how to live with the legacy of that time period in a good way which preserves the gains which groups of people and which our culture made.