A revolution in the works?

But if there’s an upside to the increasing unhappiness that most Americans feel toward the political class, it’s that maybe it means people are paying closer attention.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds
USA Today
2/4/2013

Americans are out of sorts, and increasingly they’re unhappy with the government. According to a Pew poll released last week, more than half of Americans view government as a threat to their freedom.

And it’s not just Republicans unhappy with Obama, or gun owners afraid that the government will take their guns: 38% of Democrats, and 45% of non-gun owners, see the government as a threat.

Add this to another recent poll in which only 22% of likely voters feel America’s government has the “consent of the governed,” and you’ve got a pretty depressing picture — and a recipe for potential trouble. Governments operate, to a degree, by force, but ultimately they depend on legitimacy. A government that a majority views as a threat, and that only a small minority sees as enjoying the consent of the governed, is a government with legitimacy problems.

I suspect that these issues also have something to do with the increasing bitterness and polarization of today’s politics, but not the way you might think…

…The political class usually gets its way, because it thinks about politics — and its own position — every waking moment, while the rest of America thinks about these things only in fits and starts, in between living everyday life. But if there’s an upside to the increasing unhappiness that most Americans feel toward the political class, it’s that maybe it means people are paying closer attention…

The complete article is at USA Today

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