Beyond the obvious technological advancements that have mostly benefited our lives, many of the issues we are currently wrestling with as a people weren’t even conceivable in 1989. For example:
There were pro-life Democrats like former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey. Now you don’t get elected dog-catcher as a Democrat if you’re pro-life, and the elites that run the allegedly pro-life Republican Party want to avoid the most pressing moral crisis of the age at all costs.
No credible thinker in America was advocating the redefinition of marriage.
All we really knew about Islamic radicalism was embodied in names like Khomeini, Gaddafi, and Arafat. Hamas was just being conceived. No one had heard of Al Qaeda. Most Americans didn’t know what the terms “Sunni” or “Shia” or “Hadith” or “caliphate” meant.
I was still in public school, and we were still performing “Silent Night” at holiday concerts and it was still called “Christmas vacation” too.
California was considered a red state.
The national debt was “only” $2.6 trillion.
The median price for a new home was “only” about $122,000.
Obviously a lot has changed the past 25 years, and it’s hard to argue much of this change is for the better. Given that trend line, and the fact we are domestically debating unprecedented existential threats to individual liberty, the next 25 years could become American Exceptionalism’s tipping point moment barring revival.