Not living in America, I always try to take the news with a grain of salt, but there's been a persistent theme to politics since last summer and especially since January, whereby you see Democrats propose new legislation and a lot of Republicans, instead of debating the legislation, rail pretty vehemently against subversive, hidden consequences they assume (or purport to assume) the administration to be forwarding. Instead of trying to work with the political majority for this term, they seem to be turtling back into their own ideology and not budging for anything.
I have pretty strong democratic leanings, so certainly my opinions are bias, but I sincerely don't remember public opinion being so dangerously fiery under Bush. When he did something Americans didn't agree with, people seemed to rail against him on intellectual grounds which resulted in mostly ineffective protesting. But with each new major legislation out of Obama's office--the stimulus, Guantanamo, and now health care--seems to boil closer and closer to the top of the pot--and for reasons that are almost entirely driven by scare tactics rather than reasoned consideration of the issue at hand. When people argued against going to war with Iraq, it seemed to me they were arguing against the shaky foundation for war as opposed to Afghanistan, which almost everyone supported. But the arguments against, for instance, health care, are touting absurdities like forced euthanasia.
I want to keep my political cool so as to seem fairminded in my arguments, because certainly my opinions stem from my background and more conservative-minded people have arrived at their opinions from equally legitimate experience. But I'm thinking this through as hard as I can and the only conclusion I can come up with is that at the moment, left-leaning politics are just more rational than right-leaning politics, which have become ardently emotional. I figure that's the case partly because of the 2008 election, where lots of formerly red states voted for democrats: since fewer swing states voted republican, it had the unintended effect of "purifying" the Republican party, so that now the mean political slant of elected republicans is further to the right than it has been in decades.
Anyways, I don't live in America anymore. If this sounds way too influenced by scouring news sites every day, I'd like some of my friends to talk me back to a less paranoid state of mind. Because as it is, I see the video posted below (on my blog, Facebookers) as being a legitimate appraisal of the state of the union.