I agree on the transference of the historical metaphor to contemporary period.
I ought only to note that the language was — and is — the only thing Anglo-Saxon culture has going for it. Everything else William introduced was an improvement. It’s not a coincidence that the downward spiral of English sovereignty began with the Tudors. The restoration of “proper” Brits to the throne dawned an age of elevation of the ignoble. And while we all agree that being born noble doesn’t make one noble, neither does being born common, and the Tudors surrounded themselves with the worst of the lower classes — the middle-class rich who have (and always have) envious lust for the power of the higher. While previous dynasties struggled (e.g., the Angevins), as do all dynasties, they at least did not make that fateful error.
The shift to democracy has been lauded as inevitable, but frankly it was really a response of envious middle-class merchants upset that they weren’t the ones to get the king’s stamp of approval. The American Framers never admitted it, but it was clear as day in the history of the era — their nemesis was not King George or even Parliament, but the EITC, who had the king and Parliament’s support over all home-grown colonial entrepreneurship. Funny how the Framers never even mention the EITC though. Were they unaware of it? Extremely doubtful. More likely, they refused to simply acknowledge the venal nature of their commercial competition, because it would force them acknowledge their own coarse ambitions, and re-frame the Revolution’s higher ideals accordingly. (Just as with the Civil War, it was hard for Southern plantation owners to rally enough troops to fight and die for their institution of slavery when most of them had no horse in that race. Hence the appeal to “higher” ideals like “rights”, especially the “right” to “make a living”…which meant, allowing the possibility and opportunity of purchasing slaves.) Thus instead, they fixate on the king and Parliament — who of course did have final say over which merchant endeavors to support, so there is a valid complaint there. But that’s like blaming President Obama for Wall Street’s bad behavior. What can he -really- do? He’s not an absolute ruler. Neither was King George, for that matter, even if he wished he was.
Sorry for the historical meandering. I’m just tired of America’s horseshit and its deliberately vacuous detachment from its historical roots. As you say, we still endure elements of culture that date back long before America was even colonized.
Language isn’t the only thing. Anglo slave-mentality, that resentful viciousness of a people utterly suborned first by the Danes and then the Norms, lingers on and infects every aspect of Anglo culture.
And only the art seems capable of rising above it. But that’s always been true of art compared to the culture from which it was born. Even when that art celebrates the commonality of its birthplace, it rises above that commonality and takes on universally (and abstractly) aesthetic appeal.