It seems like Americans are in a sour mood when it comes to politics. Maybe they're worried about their own bottom line. Or perhaps they think it's unfair that CEOs' checks are big and theirs aren't.
I have a basic question. Why are we interested in the sex lives of politicians when we often complain about the political establishment wanting to legislate our own behavior? Why is the exorbitant price of campaign financing a minus when we are ready to turn over our hard earned pennies to their committees? It isn't rocket science to understand watching TV punditry and listening to radio ideologues is what provocateurs want.
What's an involved citizen to do?
First, try perspective. The economy is rotten and not getting much sweeter. Keep track of what is happening locally. For example, if your state is about to lose Triple A bond rating be more concerned than if the Greeks and Germans are trying to negotiate abroad. Sagacity begins at home.
Then, try investigating what proposed legislation might do to your own status. Writing your Congresspersons won't do much good while they are trying to keep their jobs. There are a lot of handy ways with like minded citizens on chat pages online or over a back fence.
And, it never hurts to think of the other guy, especially of those who may be having it rougher than you are. Face to face, there is no reason to argue which party (or cabal) has the definitive answer. I wonder how long it will be before some sociologist writes on the relationship of citizen involvement to the so-called teabag mentality. For heaven's sake! A whole book could be written about the divisions within the Democratic Party--and going to the GOP opens up a can of worms.
Finally, it's never too late to think of history of a nation which has gone from being one vast park to one with roads and bridges and tall buildings. More importantly, it has cultural and scientific institutions. Harvard University may have begun as a beacon of enlightenment, but it is much more than a whipping post for the disaffected now.
Through it all, we must deal with the "mad as hell" crowd.
The world shrank. We feel smaller than when we thought mostly of our state, perhaps our nation--not much about our globe. And when we expand our view, even the most level-headed of us are likely to get rattled. So--as one human being to another, be cool! Inventory the best and be wary of the worst. Take heart.