There’s an old curse that says, “May you live in interesting times,” and we do.

Consider government shutdowns, political rancor, protests and corruption. Some say America has lost its way and is divided because it has strayed from its core principles. Like most kids in grade school, I was taught that there was once a Golden Age and that our Constitution was inspired and crafted by statesmen and brought down on tablets by legions of angels. It’s an idyllic view that’s still held by some, but not so by my grandfather.

John Diers is a Prior Lake resident who spent 40 years working in the transit industry and is the author of “Twin Cities by Trolley: The Streetcar Era in Minneapolis and St. Paul” and “St. Paul Union Depot.” To submit questions or topics for community columnists, email