My parents, who were good Americans, believed this – and believed it fervidly. They had mixed feelings about me – but on balance, decided I was bad.
This was typical of their times – which were not good times. Despite their frantic efforts to show how good they were.
The worst part was how they treated themselves. The good part of themselves was always punishing the bad part of themselves. This was especially true at work – where they punished everyone they could think of – including their fellow-workers, investors, and customers.
They were not perfectly bad – they sometimes did some good things, some very good things. But you had to be careful when dealing with them – because their bad part could show up as soon as you let down your guard.