I have said that this nation is dead. Rush Limbaugh says that it is dying. It's is all a matter of perspective. When did the Confederacy lose the Civil War. Was it when Lee signed the terms of surrender at Appomattox or during Sherman's march through the south and the burning of Atlanta? I choose to think that the fall of the south was signaled by the fiery sky over Georgia. Everything that occurred later was simply part of the last rites of a civilization that had passed on.
I read "Gone With The Wind" when I was sixteen and found it to be not only extremely entertaining, but also a great source of historical fact and wisdom, and much of that garnered wisdom can be applied to current events. Rhett Butler was such a delightful rogue, always with a well phrased comment that would describe the backdrop to what was taking place around him. At one point he tells Scarlett O'hara "What most people don't seem to realize is just as much money is to be made out of the wreckage of a civilization as from the upbuilding of one."