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I would focus on the passage at the end of the opening paragraph as I think it draws some very interesting comparisons:
If you look at the way people talk about or think about a country or the way life is going, there is often this idea that it is either the best or the worst, without regard for the fact that things have always been the best or the worst, they are simply always changing.
Commentators would have you believe that your president is either a fascist dictator or a glorious savior but the fact is he can't be either one. There is such a strong desire to have a black or white night or day kind of comparison when we would be better off just thinking of how things are different or how they are changing.
But the "noisiest" authorities would have us think differently and have us believe that we are either headed for oblivion or on the upward trajectory towards nirvana.
These days, currencies, people, goods, services, governments, weather and event our environment; all of these are changing with time at a daily basis. This is one way which connects the first lines of A Tale of Two Cities with today's world.
Your answer to this would surely depend on the country where you live since we are all in somewhat different circumstances.
For the United States, I would talk about how our lives seem more secure but, at the same time, more dangerous than ever before. No one has ever had a higher standard of living than well-off people in the world today. Here in the US, average people can have their own homes and their own cars and boats. They can have more than one TV in their home and more than one computer. We are really well off.
But at the same time, we worry so much. We worry that our country is not strong enough economically and even militarily. We worry that our moral values are slipping and that our country is headed downhill with countries like China rising.
So, for the US at least, this is a time when things are great, but there are also things to worry about if you are pessimistic.
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