What Waldo teaches me (when whatever I am drinking is not spurting out of my nose) is that huge numbers of Americans who are otherwise apparently competent to dress themselves and drive to work every day are not really functioning at an intellectual level necessary to deal with the moral dilemma and cultural nuances of modern life.
Philosopher Daniel Dennett comes closer to explaining this phenomenon in brief academic terms than anyone else I have ever read [once you add one tiny fact to his explanation]:
There's a mismatch between the modern versus ancestral world. Our minds are equipped with programs that were evolved to navigate a small world of relatives, friends, and neighbors, not for cities and nation states of thousands or millions of anonymous people. Certain laws and institutions satisfy the moral intuitions these programs generate. But because these programs are now operating outside the envelope of environments for which they were designed, laws that satisfy the moral intuitions they generate may regularly fail to produce the outcomes we desire and anticipate that have the consequences we wish. ...
Here's the missing fact that associates with this phrase--Our minds are equipped with programs that were evolved to navigate a small world of relatives, friends, and neighbors:
That small world is essentially a tribal world, and recent anthropological studies have shown that, on a percentage basis, warfare in neolithic tribal societies was actually generated far more casualties than modern warfare.
Shorter Dennett: we still have not moved beyond the compelling urge to deal with people with different views by hitting them over the head with large sticks.