Oh, I absolutely agree and it's something I was hesitant to post for fear that it would be difficult to articulate. Verbosity, I can do that. Articulate? Well... I'm working on it. We have our share of idiots but I think we all have them. I think America, for better or worse, gives them a platform and a microphone.
I'd never, ever, say that the US is perfect. Oh, we have our warts - we have plenty of warts. What's infuriating is that it could be so much better. I might be a little insulated but I am not an idiot. I know what (some of) the problems are. Hell, I even have potential solutions for some of those problems. I try to make each moment a little better for myself and the people with whom I come in contact. (I am not always successful at that.)
And, really... I find that most people, so long as they're not desperate, seem to be much the same. There are, of course, exceptions to that.
As for US politics... I seem to recall a French president, an Italian (premier?) guy - both of whose names I've forgotten and am too lazy to look up. They were pretty outlandish. There's Putin, there's the new guy in Australia, there was the Harper guy, and then there's the UK's royalty. You can go back and find people almost as piss-poor as any of those, or worse, for probably every country. Which kind of leads me to this...
The people are still people. In other words, there's not a whole lot of desperation yet. There's frustration but it's not a war-zone, people aren't falling dead in the streets from hunger, and I don't think some nutjob has shot up a church this week. For the most part, the people seem to be doing okay, not because of the government but despite them.
If I could snap my fingers and make changes, I would. I'd start with having them interpret the Constitution as a list of things the government allowed to do - not an, "It doesn't say we can't" approach. I'd institute a strong social safety net that enabled people to take risks. I'd ensure we had reasonable access to quality education at reasonable prices. I'd work to ensure we have quality health care available to all, I prefer single payer but I'm open to suggestions. I'd revamp the prison system to work on rehabilitation rather than retribution. I'd want drugs treated as a social and health issue and not a criminal issue. I'd ensure that a right to privacy was actually enforced - if they want information then they can get a damned warrant in open court. I know, that might let some bad people go free. I'm okay with that and I accept the risks. Equally important, I'd make the US stop trying to be the World's Police.
And I want a pony...
Alas, I can name dozens more things that I'd fix but that's where I'd start. America has the power and resources to be a great nation. Instead, we're mostly "not that bad." I'm not one to romanticize the past but there was a time when certain things were better (and the reverse is true). It's shameful that they didn't carry forward or have been diluted to the point of being trivial. But, it's not really as bad as some make it out to be. That we have the liberty to complain about small things (and large) is a good indicator. We're bitching about the quality of candidates while forgetting that we're actually entitled to vote.
There's so much more to say but I don't really want to over- (or under-) whelm and this is long enough. I'm probably not the best to articulate it. And no, I don't troll (often) so I appreciate your time, response, and vote of confidence. We could be so much worse and we could be so much better. Given the way people are with bread and circuses (football and beer) then I suspect we'll have to get a lot worse before we get better. The pendulum swings but it swings back too.