We have traded reason for passion
"At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, 'If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.'
Passion has helped us, but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason -- cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason -- must furnish all the materials for our future support and defense. Let those materials be molded into general intelligence, sound morality, and, in particular, a reverence for the Constitution and laws; and that we improved to the last, that we remained free to the last..."
I fear that we are about to experience the realization of this premonition laid out before us some 174 years ago. We have traded reason for passion, and stand to lose the whole thing. Little hope remains for the great experiment in liberty born and sustained by the sacrifice of so many generations before us.