A universal guilt enshrouded America; and it attached to all who participated in those times.
It attached to the fatuous, empty-headed liberals who had made it so easy for the enemy by yielding them so much; it attached to the embittered conservatives who had closed the door on human love and frozen out the possibility of communication between peoples.
It rested on the military, who had been too jealous of one another and too slow, and on the scientists who had been too self righteous and irresponsible and smug about shifting the implications of what they did onto someone else, and on the press, which had been too lazy and compliant in the face of evils foreign and domestic, and on the politicians, who had been too self-interested and not true enough to the destiny of the land they had in keeping, and not least upon the ordinary citizen, who somehow didn’t give quite enough of a damn about their country in spite of all their self-congratulatory airs about how patriotic they were.
Nobody could stand forth now in America and say, “I am guiltless. I had no part in this,” though they all did.— Alan Drury, Advise and Consent, 1959