About Me: "By the end of the war ... social compulsion had become a national habit. The typical American had never had more than a half-hearted enthusiasm for the rights of the minority; he had been accustomed to set his community in order by the first means that came to hand - a sumptuary law, a vigilance committee, or if necessary a shotgun. Declarations of Independence and Bills of Rights were all very well in the history books, but when he was running things himself he had usually been open to the suggestion that liberty was another name for license and that the Bill of Rights was the last resort of scoundrels. During the war he had discovered how easy it was to legislate and propagandize and intimidate his neighbors into what seemed to him acceptable conduct, and after peace was declared he went on using the same sort of methods to see that they continued to conform ... He thought he knew how people ought to behave, and he would stand for no nonsense."
- from Only Yesterday, Frederick Lewis Allen.