The promises Americans cling to so adamantly and naively are many, both explicit and implicit. That the public employee pension will be paid in full. That Social Security will pay out "what I was promised." That Medicare will be able to fund $1 million+ for the last year of life interventions for ecah of the 65 million Baby Boomers.
Then there are the implicit promises. That the dollar will not go to zero. That there will always be gasoline at every gas station. That the gasoline won't cost $10/gallon (in today's dollars). That the government will remain in control of its own institutions (hahahahahaha). That the Central State, a.k.a. the Savior State will somehow "fix" whatever problems arise in the U.S. economy and society.
This list of promises, and thus the list of delusions about to be snatched, is long indeed. The key promise may well be the one identified by G.F.B.: that life will always get better and better in every way and every day for Americans.
The idea that life in the coming years will be more like an endless camping trip for tens of millions of people is not just anathema, it is not in the realm of possibility.
And so the tiger will lash out at those who snatched her cub. Americans are as naive and desperate as a young jilted lover: they've been stood up, but don't want to know that they have put their cherished faith in impossible promises. They cling with frantic energy to their delusions, and are ready to uncork anger to express their fear of a future stripped of quasi-religious promises. By that I mean Americans' faith in their Savior State is near-religious: most cannot grasp that the Savior State itself is not Too Big To Fail, but rather Too Big To Survive.