John, as much as I agree with all you have to say - been saying it myself to deaf ears for years - I am afraid you are not only preaching to the choir (anyone who is actually reading this already agrees with you) but it will make no difference in the long run. I have found that Americans just don't care. As a whole, they are lazy, apathetic and of short memory. By this time next week, there won't even be any water cooler discussions about the shutdown or debt limits or defaults or any of it. This is how the Kennedy's of this country have stayed in office for decades, why people like Obama can be RE-elected, why the outspoken true leaders will NEVER get into these positions of power. Americans don't want to think. Sure, they will complain and whine - even make noises and carry placards - but will never really do ANYTHING that will result in a better government / economy / life. They will allow good ideas like the original formation of the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party to be usurped by others with a different agenda and become more of the same. Why? Because it would require, effort, thought and commitment. And that is something most Americans will not do, do not have. And I don't mean all Americans, just enough that they represent the majority so nothing will ever change.