Voters share the blame for their dissatisfaction
For all its current shortcomings, the
In 1860, "the government" failed on four distinct levels: a major political party, the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the electorate. At the
Neither the legislative nor the executive branches responded well. An incendiary public letter decrying compromise issued by southern congressmen on Dece. 13, 1860, made it obvious that congressional attempts at compromise were exercises in futility. President
Then as now, elected officials in
We may shake our heads in frustration, but we do not face issues as essentially impervious to compromise as slavery, nor do we seriously question the government's survival, which reminds us that things could be worse. But 1860 should also remind us that if we are to look for the sources of our government's problems, then "We the People" cannot exempt ourselves from some of the scrutiny.
- The United States Has Seen Much Worse
- 2011 Not the Very Worst, But Definitely in the Bottom 10
- Government Has Not Failed the People as It Did in 1860
- 2011 Not the Worst, But a Year Americans Would Like to Forget
- 2011 Ups and Downs: Gallup Polls Show Year Full of Pessimism
- American Border Law Enforcement Uses More Military Equipment
- Globalization and the Threat to the West
- When Currencies Collapse
- Balancing the East, Upgrading the West
- Alabama's Immigration Aftershock
- High Stakes for Immigration
- Education Cuts Aren't Smart
- A Nuclear Wake-up Call
- Global Corruption: Party Systems and the Control of Politicians
- International Security: Balanced Transition
- Global Health: The Beginning of the End of AIDS?
- United States and Europe Threaten Their Own Energy Independence
- Humanitarian Assistance: Dead or Live Aid
- With Fracking America Can Escape the Energy Trap
- Renewed Focus on Pacific Region Intended to Distract from Unrest at Home?
- Obama, Harper Stay Apart on Pipeline Issue, Ink Other Agreements
- Alabama Law Against Illegal Immigration Suffers Setback
- Major Economies Headed for Slowdown
- Is the National Security Complex Too Big to Fail?
- United States Hesitant to 'Reckon With Evil' in Syria
- Why Does America Defend the Weak and Small?
- Why We Need Not Envy China
- United States: Iraq Syndrome
- United States: The News of Empire
- Child Poverty and Access to Education: Hidden Costs on the Hispanic Community
- One Nation, Gone Awry
- Statue of Liberty Turns 125: Old Immigration Attitudes Alive as Well
- United States in Decline -- If We Allow It
Copyright 2012, U.S. News & World Report