In drama, I was taught that there are two main types of stories. Comedy or Tragedy. These two forms of story telling go back to the Ancient Greeks and were used by Shakespear and his contemporaries.
In a comedy, the characters are taken on an adventure, but the adventure does not fundamentally change who they are, how they think or how they feel. When the adventure is over, life continues on, perhaps slightly changed but not fundamentally.
In a tragedy, the adventure fundamentally changes the characters, or in many cases ends the characters lives. Having the characters die is what we are most familiar with. Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Oedipus.
My question right now is this; Is the story of the United States of America a comedy or a tragedy? Will we be fundamentally changed by being distracted by pretty baubles, or will we get ourselves back on track?
The answer really depends on what you see as the character of our people.