We've heard stories about young people who have to be “de-programmed” from some cult's conditioning. We've heard about the Stockholm Syndrome, where a captive becomes brainwashed into supporting her captives. We've seen how humans can be conditioned to the point that reason no longer determines their thoughts or behavior.
I believe that Americans are slowly being de-programmed from centuries of wrong and hurtful conditioning. In my 6+ decades of life, hurtful things like racism, bigotry, animal cruelty, religious tribalism, scientific ignorance, and social injustices have decreased, and I believe the momentum has been increasing.
There is still a lot of resistance from those who see change as threatening, and in some cases, evil, but as education and communication increases, that resistance is weakening. As someone who has tried to swim against the current in the Cimarron River, I know that the current eventually wins, and I believe the current is going in the right direction. In short, I'm cautiously optimistic about our nation's and the world's future – cautiously, because I realize how easily one match can cause an explosion.