If you want to know what Americans really value and what drives us, we need look no further than what Francis Schaeffer called the Absolute Modern Values of Personal Peace and Affluence. I have called these values Consumerism, Personal Preference, and Prosperity just through my own observations. These values are the drivers behind this election. It is what makes the American economy function the way it does, and it is what has led us to our current social and spiritual state. As long as my primary consideration is continually what enables me to have the widest range of choices (freedom) so I can choose what makes me happy and what promotes my own prosperity, then we will always live in a society that uses and discards the weak in a Darwinian fashion. We will also always live in a society that is aligned against God and His ways.
Here is Schaeffer speaking about this from "How Should We Then Live" (1976).
"Gradually, that which had become the basic thought form of modern people became the almost totally accepted viewpoint, an almost monolithic consensus. And as it came to the majority of people through art, music, drama, theology, and the mass media, values died. As the more Christian-dominated consensus weakened, the majority of people adopted two impoverished values: personal peace and affluence.
"Personal peace means just to be let alone, not to be troubled by the troubles of other people, whether across the world or across the city - to live one's life with minimal possibilities of being personally disturbed. Personal peace means wanting to have my personal life pattern undisturbed in my lifetime, regardless of what the result will be in the lifetimes of my children and grandchildren. Affluence means an overwhelming and increasing prosperity - a life made up of things, things, and more things - a success judged by an ever higher level of material abundance."
Schaeffer follows this explanation with a discussion on why kids go to college. He says that they go so they can get a job and make good money. When asked why get a job and make more money, the answer is that so you can send your kids to college. It is a cycle without meaning or purpose. So, when secular society offers some kind of internal experience through drugs, sex, or pursuits of power, young people are particularly susceptible because they see no real, ultimate meaning in what they have been taught or what they are doing. When the entire goal of life is your own personal peace and affluence, everything becomes ultimately meaningless. You can easily use people for your own ends and ignore the plight of others because your primary value system revolves around you.
I would submit that even Christians do this as we attempt to employ God and others in our individual quest for personal peace and affluence. This is the foundation for how White Christians justified slavery and racism in the American South. They were God's chosen people and this system benefitted them. The African was clearly not chosen of God due to his impoverished, uneducated state of affairs, so it was right that they be subjugated and civilized. The White Christian was actually doing them a favor. This system was approved by God because it ordered society in a way that provided for safety, security, and prosperity. So, I would disagree with Schaeffer in that these values of Personal Peace and Affluence are new. They have been with us for a long time and Christians have done their share to promote them in the name of Jesus.
Christ calls us to seek the Kingdom of God first, not our own safety, security, peace, or affluence. He tells us that if we lay our lives down and take up our cross and seek Him first, then all of the things that we need - all of these other things will be added to us as well. Personal Peace and Affluence is not a value to seek, but a blessing to receive when God grants it. When He doesn't, we still learn the secret of being content in all circumstances because our lives are in Him (Phil. 4).