After the great crash of 2008, Americans awoke and saw their country the way the anti-Americans have always seen it: spendthrift, decadent, and corrupt. The city on the hill had become a mismanaged empire; the land of self-reliance was buried in debt. Our political class had run up enormous deficits at home and entangled us in never-ending military operations overseas. Our financial elites had been exposed as reckless, self-deluded speculators who had gambled away the country's economic future and then gone begging for a bailout. And the whole mess had been made possible by middle America's relentless appetite - for bigger houses, bigger portfolios, bigger government programs, bigger everything, and damn the long-term cost.
- From Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics by Ross Douthat