Although America now slightly leans to The United States of Tom, its origins are rooted in The United States of Huck. In The United States of Huck, George Saunders connects the characteristics of Huck and Tom to the characteristics of America. Huck grew up with a drunk and abusive man for a father. Similarly, the United States grew up with an abusive parent (i.e. Britain). America struggled through its early years fighting off Britain just like Huck fought off his father. Very often, children are a product of their environment. Their experiences when they are young influence their thinking and ideologies when they grow up. Huck struggled with his racist ideas about slaves because of how he was raised. America struggled with the same ideas while it was a growing nation. America also struggles with these problems today. Children often agree with their parents political views even though they are completely ignorant of what those views are. As kids grow up, they learn more about the views their were once ignorant of. At that point, they either change their beliefs or they continue to follow their parents belief.
In today's culture we tend to lean more towards the United States of Tom. America's lavish lifestyle and style are similar to those Tom reads about in books. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom has a very self-centered attitude. He sacrifices the comfort of others for his own fantasies. Instead of simply helping Jim escape from a window, which would take less than 5 minutes, he creates an elaborate plan that takes weeks to execute. Many politicians and businessmen in America sacrifice the needs of others for their own personal gain. Tom finds it necessary to fulfill his own desires at the expense of Jim. There is not definite "winner" to this Huck vs. Tom controversy. Each of their ideologies can be seen in America past and present.