Americans love gumption. We believe that stupid ideas become brilliant ones if you just keep working on them with bullish tenacity. We love phrases that stroke our underdog obsessions—"against all odds," "hold tight to your dreams," "never surrender," "stay the course." One might call it a national Quixote complex, but the imagery isn't quite right: We seldom picture ourselves as senile old-timers, but rather wide-eyed children, pumped up with the fructose-laden juices of everlasting hope, belting out "Tomorrow" from Annie as part of the middle-school talent show of our national psyche. Naïveté is our favorite virtue, and juvenile delusion... More >>>