The lessons of Participation Trophies
There is much in this article that resonates with me. I know you self-describe as a conservative and I self-describe as a liberal. Classically, that meant a difference in emphasis. I was concerned that liberty be conserved, while you concerned with conserving liberty. There was never a fundamental disagreement on principles and objectives. That was unity.
I'm a generation older than you, Your experiences were similar to mine. Something began going very wrong in the late 1980s, and I don't believe it was the introduction of technology or a major shift in culture. It began with overturning 200 years of history to introduce partisanship into one of our most solemn duties, advise and consent on Supreme Court Justices. The case in question was Judge Robert Bortk.
Not a single justice in the Brown v Board of Education case was ever questioned about his views on integration, yet the single most important case in the 20th Century was decided 9-0 in favor of expanded liberty. Mapp v Ohio was decided by a Court, none of whose members had ever been questioned about his position on extending the Bill of Rights to the States In Rowe v Wade a decision was rendered by judges who were never questioned about their view of abortion. They were evaluated solely on their competence to judge. That worked out pretty well for the majority of conservatives and liberals. One man led an offensive to undo what had worked well for two centuries in favor of examining a prospective Justice's views on issues of transitory importance, for short-term partisan gain. That man was Joe Biden, Senator from Delaware.
That created the crack that has grown into a chasm today. It never needed to do so. The legacy is an evenly-divided country with one party holding all the reins of power, seeking to transform the country into a permanent one-party state.
Not participation trophies, although the point is well-taken because it contributes to a culture that values equal outcomes more than equal opportunities.