David Carroll’s Aug. 30 column “Do you feel safer?” really spoke to me. It reflects his careful observation of the public sphere over the last few decades. I grew up during the 1950s and I really miss the relaxed, relatively peaceful ambiance of that time. It’s not that everything was perfect. We had our share of anxieties, but we felt fairly safe in our communities.
As David pointed out, we have had to take some precautions (such as for air travel security) that would have been unimaginable back then. I seldom fly, but none of us would board a plane today unless the passengers and luggage were checked over carefully. What bothers me most is that the norms of civil society, the safeguards that have become routine, have been imposed on us by the most unhinged people among us. There’s probably no quick fix to the ills highlighted in David’s column, but he surely has given us ample food for thought.