I have not written much in a while and have spent more time asking people I know of all stripes questions in order to try to understand where they are coming from. Obviously, I'm not tuned into the "tea party patriots", "biblical constitutionalists" and other right-wing movements which dot our landscape and I am at a loss to understand what is going on with the mindset of so many in our ailing Republic. There are several themes I've gathered listening to people and hearing them out.
First- the government is the enemy. No one ever uses the term "our government" any more because "the government" has become a catch all scapegoat for all that ails people. All problems can be twisted into "the government did it". Corporations move operations overseas, and the problem is "government regulations made them do it or environmental policies are driving our jobs overseas."
Second- "they" losely defined has taken over "our country" (not government) and "we" need to take it back. "they" seem to be a conglomeration of minorities, liberals, feminists, non-Christians, etc. There is this "they" out there that is a powerful coalition that wants to make our country some mamby pamby, lovey dovey country of intellectuals and slum dwellers. I'm still digesting and analying what's going on here, but it is quite bizzare.
Third- Manifest Destiny version 4.0 After westward expansion of America ended, in the 19th century (version 1.0), imperialist expansion via Spain's crumbling empire (add Hawaii) (version 2.0) and American Cold War Hegemony (version 3.0), we now find a new trend in America. The idea of America as a vessel for Protestant Christian culture has been reborn in Manifest Destiny version 4.0. George W. Bush tried this with version 3.5, but bungled it with his ill-thought out invasion of Iraq. This version has worked out the bugs of the premature release and has more traction behind it. This is the pure form, ideologically rich with symbolism and not as tainted with the greed of version 3.5. The world should fear this version.
Fourth- Timidity among the left- If you lead, people will follow. There has been a lack of leadership on the left that has left movements to the right relatively unchecked. The President's willingness to compromise has compromised his mandate. Liberals and moderates wonder who it was they helped to elect, and why is he letting nutcases walk all over him. They cling to Jon Stewart and Colbert to give them to calcify their spine. If you've got to go to Comedy Central for your political edification, you are in trouble.
These are just some of the trends I see. Like my credit score, "it ain't good." But atleast I know, it wasn't the government's fault my credit score ain't good.