Yes, America is suffering needlessly. That may save us. : To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android. Just one in six Americans in a poll last month was “proud” of the state of the country, and about two out of three were actually “fearful” about it. So let me introduce a new thought: “hope.” Yes, our nation is a mess, but overlapping catastrophes have also created conditions that may finally let us extricate ourselves from the mire.