L.A. and Miami have a lot in common. Both were culturally American cities—that is to say, white—well into the 1970's but have since been transformed into massive forward bases of Hispanic-Afro-Caribbean dysfunction. Also, neither is ever going back to what it used to be.

Of the many sad and frustrating aspects of this transformation, one stands out in my mind. It's the fact that no one today under the age of about 40 has any conscious memory of a time when those cities were, in a sense, bigger and sunnier versions of any other American city. You have to be at least 50+ to remember a time when Miami or L.A. was not full of "vibrancy".

Young people today have no experience of a world where neighborhoods, schools and sitcoms didn't look like the international departure lounge at JFK airport.

They don't know that we were a country once.