Stephen Moore writes about the other overused four-letter F-word in today's WSJ. Yes, N-gram does show a long term rise in the use of "fairness".
Was the Chrysler bail-out "fair"? The rule of law was trampled in the workout. Clint Eastwood seems to think it was OK; it was in the "spirit of America".
More than one commentator has chimed in on the current popularity of Downton Abbey. Americans love to imagine that we are a "classless" society and so have voyeuristic fun peering at (a fantasy version of) one. And social class is "as American as apple pie." But how moored are Americans?
Immigrants to the U.S. have long understood that they can become Americans and many do (not simply formally via naturalization, but in the ways that count). I doubt that any of us can ever become Italians or Germans or Greeks, or you name it, in ways that count. Some immigrants to the U.S. insist on being hypthenated Americans, but most do not. It is up to each one. In that sense, we are classless in ways that do count.