Ain't aWe don’t live in America anymore, at least not in the America I know. Since virtually everybody is worse off than someone else, in at least some aspect, there are nearly unlimited opportunities to pander to people’s sense of victimhood and entitlement. Hey, if you ain’t a victim, you ain’t cool.

My former sister-in-law belonged to a support group called Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families. My brother, who makes Pa Kettle seem urbane by comparison, refused to accompany her to meetings. So I went.

After the usual hugging and weeping, we sat in a circle around the room while everyone got up in sequence to relate dramas of alcoholism, abuse, desertion and wreckage. It was a lot like the old Sally Jessy Raphael Show.

I sat back for a moment when it came my turn. What I wanted to do was get up and say, Get over it, for God’s sake. So life ain’t fair. Move on and stop wallowing in self-pity.

Instead. . . Well, my sister-in-law looked really nervous.

I’m a writer. I scribble fiction for fun and profit. I know how to do a story. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house by the time I finished. Two women were openly sobbing. My sister-in-law descended on me with both feet when she got me out of there.

“Wasn’t that what they came for,” I protested. “They all had a good time.”

Today, simple common sense has become an endangered species, replaced by excessive emotionalism and group-think. I’m going to throw up out the window of my pickup truck if one more goofy Hollywood celebrity presumes to raise my awareness, admonishes me about some group’s precious self-esteem, or reproves me for lack of tolerance of drunken bums, dopers and lazy welfare cheats.

In a society gone bonkers, there will come a day, mark my word, when all God’s children will be aggrieved and everyone will be a victim.

Today, via some remarkable combination of hyper-sensitivity, tolerance, concern for self-esteem, “inclusiveness,” and bias against being “judgmental,” the nation has thrown itself on the mercy of seriously disturbed people. America is being conditioned to accept, endure, and promote virtually anything. That which is tolerated by one generation is accepted by the next and embraced by the third.

From Going Bonkers: The Wacky World of Cultural Madness, by Charles W. Sasser. Available in paperback and ebook from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.