Our government is more badly divided than maybe it has ever been. What's the answer?
September 28th, 2011
04:34 PM ET

Our government is more badly divided than maybe it has ever been. What's the answer?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The public's trust in the federal government is at an all-time low, which is no big surprise. They're lucky in Washington the citizens haven't marched on the place yet.

There's a new CNN/ORC International Poll out Wednesday that shows only 15% of Americans say they trust the government in Washington to do what's right always or most of the time. Fifteen percent.

Seventy-seven percent say they trust the federal government only some of the time. And 8% say they never do.

Just last year 25% of Americans felt they could trust the federal government always or most of the time. Before the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, the majority of Americans felt this way. But the only time Americans have had such trust in the government since the 1970s was right after 9/11.

Meanwhile, as both parties appeal to their bases and emphasize their differences with the opposition, another new poll suggests what Americans really want is compromise.

The Gallup survey shows for the first time a majority of Americans say it's more important for politicians to compromise than to stick to their beliefs.

Tea party members are the only group in this poll who say it's more important for politicians to stick to their beliefs. Again, no surprise there.

All this comes as the federal government just barely averted another shutdown, this time over a disaster funding bill. Last month, our lawmakers took us to the brink of default on our national debt obligations as they wrangled over an increase in the debt ceiling.

And you can bet when the supercommittee comes out with its deficit-cutting proposals there will be lots more ugly partisanship from our leaders. It seems to be all they know how to do these days.

Here’s my question to you: Our government is more badly divided than maybe it has ever been. What's the answer?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Kim in Kansas:
Read your history books and you will find the answer: Democracies, dictatorships, kingdoms, empires and dynasties have all fallen due to the shortcomings of mankind as a species. If you could eliminate greed, corruption, jealousy, power, sex and money from government, there would still be only the very slightest chance that people in power would do the right thing. In short, our government is the reflection we see in the mirror.

Carolina on Facebook:
Take away all of their perks and put them in a locked building with bread and water until they can come to an understanding of what’s best for the American people.

Marja in Stockholm, Sweden:
You should have many parties like we do in Europe. That way those kinds of situations can be avoided and the possibilities of making compromises are much greater than you have. It really is difficult to understand why the presidential candidates must have millions for their campaigns, for when one gets to the White House, he doesn’t seem to have almost any power at all, because the Congress can sabotage all his propositions of law, if I have understood it right.

Intelligent voters. Problem is: most voters are too heavily influenced by the superficial commentary of the liberal media. They don't make any effort to examine what the liberal media publish, for accuracy and authenticity. They are basically too lazy to be voters.

Jayne in New Hampshire:
I am beginning to think we need to officially split into two countries. Let the Republicans and other right wingers enjoy their small government, no health care, no education, no paved roads paradise and allow the rest of us to live our lives in peace with the knowledge our children will be educated, our sick will be tended to and our elderly will be taken care of. I imagine it wouldn't take long before we'd have to build a fence to keep the Republicans out.

Cheryl in South Carolina:
When my friend's kids used to fight, she would make them kiss and hug each other until they laughed. Maybe we should try this with the Democrat and Republican children currently occupying the halls of Congress.

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Filed under: Government • US Government
soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    You seem to forget the 1850s, Jack! (Weren't you there?) The regional clamor over "states rights" ended in our nation splitting into two countries that began shooting at each other.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  2. John from Alabama

    Jack: This nation must get past the notion of politics for politics sake. We have serious problems with our economy, lack of jobs, and we are falling behind in transportation and education of our youth. The American Jobs Act would keep teachers, firemen, and police employed, and bring laid off workers back to full employment. Yet, due to the fact we are close to a general election nothing will get accomplished, because of politics. There are Americans who need Congress's help, but all they get is political speeches from Congress. WE need to get behind our president or maybe we need to rid ourselves of all members of Congress.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  3. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    When my friend's kids used to fight, she would make them kiss and hug each other until they laughed. Maybe we should try this with the Democrat and Republican children currently occupying the halls of Congress.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  4. Jk from Minnesota

    Sadly, since relious issues are at the heart of the far right politics, it may not be able to be fixed. This country already has had one civil war, another one wouldn't solve any of the issue. A start to it would be to fix the high unemployment. Enforcement of anti-trust laws, limits on the amount a ceo can make as compared to the lower paid employees and tax policy that would encourage manufacturing in the United States instead of it going over seas. The other thing that needs to change is personal greed. It's time to put the Country first.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  5. Mr. Snead

    The problem is we are making no efforts to compromise. I feel the checks and balances brought by the distinct views from both parties makes us stronger. It just seems we are unwilling to budge in this election year. The results are lost confidence by Americans regarding their employment status which has led to a drastic drop in the stock market and the derailment of many peoples American Dream. The anwer is alwas, "Kick THe Bums Out" but the result has been bring in a new batch of bums.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  6. Russ in PA

    What is your beef? America has always been divided. That is why we were to be a Republic, not a democracy, as democracies invariably descend to rule by mob. What can you expect when both parties have forsaken the Constitution, and turned what started out as a free country with free market principles into a welfare state complete with government intervention and support of welfare and warfare? As Ron Paul asks: do you want to be a free country or one where welfare and warfare is the norm? Until that question is answered, division is the only result.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    September 28, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  7. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    What we need is a third party. Having a third party in power would make these clowns in Washington realize that we are fed up with a two party system playing politics whenever they show up in Washington, which seems less year by year. If ever the time was right for a third party it would be now. The republicans would not be able to set on their butts and vote everything down just to win an election.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  8. Kristine

    If the majority of Americans are paying more for health insurance, and not receiving a pension why aren't Americans asking for those elected officials to take a cut in their benefits? Seems to me the politicians are running amuck in Washington, and while not accomplishing anything they have the best health and pension benefits.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  9. Juan Gonzalez

    Liberals need to stop blaming the Tea Party for every single thing. Racism and Violence, when the fact is they are some the most racists and voilent people in this country today. Harry Reid, Al Sharpton, Robert Byrd, the President himself all have made racists comments. The marches on private property, haNDS Cut off, and inncoent black men jumped by who? SEIU Thugs. This is a case of the kettle calling the pot black.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    Intelligent voters.

    Problem is........most voters are too heavily influenced by the superficial commentary of the liberal media. They don't make any effort to examine what the liberal media publish, for accuracy and authenticity. They are basically too lazy, to be voters.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  11. Jayne in NH

    I am beginning to think we need to officially split into 2 countries. Let the Republicans and other right wingers enjoy their small government, no healthcare, no education, no paved roads paradise and allow the rest of us to live our lives in peace with the knowledge our children will be educated, our sick will be tended to and our elderly will be taken care of. I imagine it wouldn't take long before we'd have to build a fence to keep the Republicans out.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  12. Greg in Arkansas

    JOB SWAP.....all elected officials should be required to swap jobs with someone in their home state or district for one week each year after they are elected.
    The swap will include, pay, benefits, living conditions and ALL of the Congressional perks.
    Constituents that enjoy the swap can be chosen by a lottery at the cost of a dollar ticket.
    Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to local homeless shelters and soup kitchens etc.
    This is about the only way Congress will ever understand the problems in America get back to representing "We the People" instead of political party platforms or personal posturing for their own re-election.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  13. Marja Hartzell Oforji

    You should have many parties like we in Europe. That way those kind of situations can be avoided and possibilities of making compromises are much greater than you have. It really is difficult to understand why the presidential candidates must have millions for their campaigns, for when one gets to the White House, he doesn`t seem to have almost any power at all, because the congress can sabotage all his propositions of law, if I have understood it right. The power that the tiny Tea Party has right now, prevents the democracy in your country to be carried out. I hope it can be seen in the results of the election next year.
    From Stockholm, Sweden.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  14. kim smith, Dodge City, Ks.

    The answer? Read your history books and you will find the answer. Democracies, dictatrorships, kingdoms, empires and dynasties have all fallen due to the shortcomings of mankind as a species. If you could eliminate greed, corruption, jealousy, power, sex and money from government, there would still be only the very slightest chance that people in positions of influence would do the right thing. In short, our government is the reflection we see in the mirror.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  15. Ayo, Texas

    Yes government is divided, at least both parties agree on this... wait 14 months for the elections and let the people decide the answer. unfortunately we all have to suffer till then. wake me up next year when november comes

    September 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  16. Herman Portland OR

    The government is divided because America's Congress has not been doing their job for the people. The elections over the past year or so have been a effort by the American people to their elected officials to give notice that they are being held accountable for their actions. The more elections the better America will be.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  17. Lori - PA


    The only solution is to overhaul the political system. First, we need to do away with lobbying and Super Pac’s. Then we set up a general campaign donation fund that ALL political candidates can draw from equally during an election campaign. Finally, there needs to be a two term limit (as it is for the President) for members of Congress and the Senate.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  18. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    The answer is you need more than two political parties who usually cancel each other out so nothing gets done. In the Canadian parliament there are five different parties. That makes for a lot of wheeling and dealing and often smaller parties become the power broker. That's how we got medicare.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  19. Annie, Atlanta

    I don't have any answers anymore. We didn't stop it as it was happening, for the decades that the GOP has been waging their hate and lies campaign against anything Democratic, Liberal, or Progressive. Their hate has even incited people on their side to shoot those with opposing views (crosshairs, anyone?). Mitch McConnell ordering the President away from the people and back to DC to work with them, last week. Does he think we're all as stupid and ignorant as his base? He fuels hate filled partisanship and then accuses the opposite side of not attempting bipartisanship. What a freaking joke. We're so screwed, as I've been saying for a long time now. And we did nothing – NOTHING – to stop it. Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, and shopping are higher on our lists. Maybe the Fairness Act, but at this point, I doubt it. The right gets to hear only that which justifies their hate, as with Fox and Limbaugh and such. Any attempts to curb that justification will just fuel more hate.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  20. stevegee

    Common sense. When you're broke, you stop spending money you don't have. If the President and the career politicians would stop worrying about the media circus and poll numbers, and instead focused on doing what's Right (pun intended) for our republic, then we could get this fiscal and economic mess cleaned up.

    Steve in Philadelphia

    September 28, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  21. Susan

    Get big money OUT of the government & give it back to the PEOPLE!!
    It's supposed to be government by the people, for the people; NOT government by the corporate rich for the corporate rich.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  22. EJ in Metro Houston

    Part of the answer is for them to act like adults and not spoiled kids. Is it just a coincidece that the goverment really started to divide like this once the Tea Party became relevent? I don't think it is.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  23. Brian, San Diego

    Electoral processes and conditions that don't promote pandering to the extremes. That means finding a way to redesign the congressional districts so that they are actually competitive, and establishing open primaries for Congress might also be a good idea. Take away the electoral benefits of extremism, and the representatives we elect will stop being so extreme.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  24. Brad, Portland, OR

    The answer is to switch over to a one-house Parliamentary system, with representation based on population, not geographical areas like states (i.e. no Senate). No filibuster or other anti-democratic rules. Bills pass by majority vote.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  25. Ron WPAFB

    Well, Jack, vote the Republicans to the minority next election, then some, (some), work will get done! Or keep the Bat Crap Crazy Republicans and kiss everything goodby! Really! That is the only two ways I see this thing going.
    Good Luck or Lock and Load!!

    September 28, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  26. James in Springfield, VA

    Scrap the whole thing and start over. First up, stop all the wonderful benefits that congress gets. You will see that not a lot of people will want to run for public office once the retirement for life and make their own pay scale is not there anymore nor their vacations. Second, take away their security. You will see a different attitude when they find out they cannot hide from the public. No more security guards unless one is entering the building. Third, make it so they have a minimal staff so the elected officials actually have to do the work. Then maybe a simple bill will not be 3000 pages. Fourth, make it mandatory that they work in their home town district half the year so people can actually get in there faces about issues back home. Next up take away their perks like bumping people who actually paid for there seat in first class because Congress has an open ticket on the airlines and can make that happen.....Let then drive. Just a few thoughts.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  27. Toni

    Jack, parents usually send their rowdy children to their rooms. Maybe, we should send these grown children in Washington packing!

    South Carolina

    September 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  28. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    Only the electorate can fix that. Stop voting for candidates who go after their opponents. Have your candidate pledge country over party. Know the difference between your candidates and the proverbial used car salesmen.
    Whoops, maybe I'm asking for too much.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  29. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    We form many of our beliefs, our ideologies, based on lies. We make an agreement with ourself to believe something not really knowing if it is the truth and with that we create faith, usually a faith based on lies.

    In order for any human system to change, each person must be courageous enough to challenge their beliefs, to rid the denial, and then discover the lies in our knowledge. Recall the lovely story of the garden of Eden where the tree of knowledge was guarded by the serpent? Since we bit into that apple the serpent offered us, we have been trying to get back to what we had, truth. That is all wisdom is, taking years of knowledge and finally filtering out the lies.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  30. Rosemary

    The voters should kick the GOP/TEA to the Curb. They have proven that they would rather see the Country slide off of an Economic Cliff in order to not work with this President on ANYTHING. The shame on this situation is that it has nothing to do with his policies but him personally as a Minority. The GOP/TEA makes that obvious every day.

    They campaigned during the 2010 Midterms on Jobs, and Deficits. All they are doing in the House is wasting TAXPayer dollars with frivolous investigations, and Draconian Cuts that hurt the middleclass and the poor.

    Katrina was bad. The House TeaPublicans even tried to Blackmail the Government over helping disaster victims with the Deficit. Something that was unheard of in the past. You have a Senate Leader standing up from day one to declare that our Goal is to make this President a one-termer. Which translates into we will do nothing until we can get a Republican in that Office. In the mean time, we, Republicans will show we don't care about Governing the Country, just TOTALLY DISRESPECT this President and the Office of the President in Front of the World..

    The Congresses' job is to keep the Country going for the Public Good, no matter who is in the Office.

    The GOP/TEA have taken the Civility of the Country down to Gutter Fights. This GOP/TEA will not even let FACTS get in their way on their march to destroy, this President and the Office of the President.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  31. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
    The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America

    When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    Let's start having Congress explain to the American people why we are in this political state and what are they going to do it get back on track for the benefit of one Nation among us.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  32. Phyllis G. Williams

    Our government is more badly divided than maybe it has ever been. What's the answer?

    Because they are no longer able to do the work they are called to do
    realizing that all 'Tabernacles' (2nd Peter 1: 14) return to the worms-
    (Genesis 3: 19) and they will have to answer for their wrong thoughts
    and selfish lack of love living to please each other rather than the
    people they are being paid to serve (Romans 14: 12).
    Congress, the public is waiting on you for action!!!!

    September 28, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  33. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack our government has become a battle ground comprised of two parties only. The republicans and the democrats. They control everything. There is no third impartial party so that means it is going to be one of two ways. There is no such thing as compromise or honor and duty and country. It is us against them in congress. The president is no longer a leader he or she is a follower and can only sign into law or veto what comes up to their desk from congress. The president does not create, craft or write the laws, they simply sign or veto them. Our congress has no clear direction and you can easily tell that by their out of control spending and foreign debt building. They have destroyed this once great country in a mater of 60 years.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  34. Doug

    Thats an easy one. Reduce all government spending in half. Eliminate all income taxes. Erase every law that has ever been written, and start over again. Make Insurance illegal. Release all prisoners convicted of drug related, tax related, and debt related crimes. Make all the Generals pass a High School equivelency Test. Eliminate all Departments of Motor Vehicles. Make lobbying illegal. Prevent anyone other than individual citizens from contributing to Political Candidates. Restrict driving prividleges for women to the hours between 1 AM and 4 AM in the morning. I'm just getting warmed up, but I know your out of time. Doug.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  35. Mel - Houston

    Divided government is not bad. The founding father deliberately created the three branches of government in this country because they inherently distrusted an authoritorian government vis a vis the British Government. Our present problem is not a total government breakdown it is just the entrenchment of idiology of the political parties. Debate and compromise seems to be lost in the legislative branch of the American government. The solution to the problem in a democratic society is always the people. We need to get the corporations out of governmental influence.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  36. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    one thing that needs to end is gerrymandered congressional districts where BOTH Republicans and Democrates have NO real challenge IF they don't do what the vast majority of voters want. this sets up for BOTH sides ideologs to NOT do "the peoples business"

    term limits would sure help too.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  37. Bert from L.A.

    Jack, the remedy is for voters to focus on our history and stop being led astray by candidates using secret global corporate monies, fear tactics and emotional single-issues to divide and conquer us. The remedy is to focus on that tea in Boston Harbor, deregulated and untaxed global corporate cargo sponging our wealth away, and realize that it is not just about tea anymore; it’s all goods sold!

    September 28, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  38. Josh from New Orleans

    Republicans and conservatives have to understand that compromise is not a sign of weakness.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  39. ken, atlatnic city, nj

    The answer is to give the voters referendum power so the people can decide what is good for america instead of politicians paid off by wall street, banks, and big corporations. Ther is no gridlock, obama and congress are being paid to get nothing done for main street.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  40. Mark, Indiana

    More divided that ever, Jack? Remember back when Andy Jackson supporters took over the Congress? Remember at other times, the brawls, the duals? In this 24/7 media market it may seem that way. Wonder what the nation would have thought back in the 1820s?

    September 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  41. Loren

    Every crisis is worse than the last. Not so. In the immortal words spoken by Strother Martin in the movie "Cool Hand Luke", "What we have here is a failure to communicate." We have a problem of brinksmanship, whether every issue is the most important, until the next one comes along. When everyone admits that there are literally hundreds of issues whose resolution needs to be coordinated, then maybe progress will get made.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  42. terence

    We should literally get rid of both houses. Then put them together in one house and make them work together as one group. No more seperate meeting houses. If this doesnt work then put them all on the unemployment line together and see how they get along then. I am sure somebody would love a new job and learn to work together real fast in their place.
    Terence , Nj

    September 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  43. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: I wish there was an answer. The American people has lost trust and faith in those elected to serve us. We are now a nation living on "hope"---and this hope is the denial of "reality."

    September 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  44. Larry -Denver

    Until we become a two party system again, until both houses are controlled by one party, (for at least two years) nothing will change. The Republicans just say no to anything the Democrats put up and vice versa. The Tea Party stands in the way of any sanity from Republicans- they are just afraid to act. If their priority could just change from getting rid of Obama, to passing legislation that helps this wounded country, nothing changes.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  45. Rich in Gainesville FL

    Throw them all out. Rinse & repeat until we get a crop that's gotten the message.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  46. gaill

    Re-elect Obama, and more Dems to House &Senate, so problems can be solved – get rid of the TParty types holding the GOP hostage.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  47. Mark

    Find the nearest Kindergarten teacher and force all members of Congress and the president to sit through a lesson taught on "How to get along with others". Then take away their recess.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  48. Bill of New Mexico

    Our country needs the "academic" equivalent of a nation threatening outside attack.

    Each party or class is only a part of the whole which is our country.

    If we lose any part, the whole will suffer.

    The rub is that each party is ready to sacrifice the whole for their own party.

    Will all parties come to their senses? I do not see it happening. Instead I think we may be seeing the end of the United States. By the time any party realizes a threat, it will be too late to salvage what is left. Heck! it probably already is too late!

    September 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  49. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    An election will solve it, Jack. Either the Tea Party types will pick up enough seats and the White House to march the country off the cliff in harmonious suicide or the economy will pick up or the people will repudiate them and give the whole ball of wax back to Obama, giving him a free hand to keep enacting his program and restoring the economy.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  50. DAVE

    Hi Jack,
    First let's get rid of all political parties....then have a draft/lottery to pick the people that will represent us locally and nationally. It won't be perfect but it can't be any more screwed up than it is now. The people we have in office now sure don't represent my interests.

    St. Augustine, FL

    September 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  51. terri from blountville, tn

    We need to stop electing the most partisan politicians. Stop believing the "misleading" statements they use as they campaign. The moderate voters need to get off their duffs and go vote rather than letting the most passionate patisans take control.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  52. David of Alexandria VA

    Damaged, but not broken, Jack. What's not surprizing in the poll is that 77% of the people are OK with government some of the time. That's roughtly the percentage of independents plus the lunatic fringe of the left or right (depending on what's at issue). What's missing in our government is a voice for the predominent middle. Someone who can marginalize the disfunctional fringes instead of the letting the fringes marginalize the majority.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  53. david

    Shut it down. Purge the 2 party entrenched monopoly representing the non elected agenda. and get rid of tenure for govt employees and discontinue affirmative action social engineering policie.. its hippocritical and usually gurantees the unqualified abusive authority over people who didnt do anything to any one but are blamed becuz there white

    September 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  54. Donna, Wisconsin

    I think no one in Congress running this year should be re-elected. But anyone put in Congress should pass the "I will COMPROMISE" test. If they can't walk the talk, can't be willing to compromise–not just with fellows in thier own party–but with the opposition party, they should not be elected. And that goes for those running for President. So far, President Obama, tho his own party doesn't like it–is the only one trying to COMPROMISE!!

    September 28, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  55. david

    Maybe we should take up arms against our govt's capitulation of morality and integrity so a few govt officials can solidify re-election campaigns while unsustainably empowering the 3rd world while indebting u.s. citizen as favor to big business attempting to pull rug out from under independent hardworking families with cheaper labor loyal to the spoil.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  56. Jason Mitchell, Virginia

    We live in a country where more people watch Jersey Shore than the news. People only want compromise because they want things to get better but they have no idea how to accomplish that. Compromise seems like a logical idea. The problem with compromise is that when it happens, we get things like TARP. Anything that the Democrats and Republicans agree on is going to benefit their owners on Wall St and make the rest of our lives worse. Washington is 'helping' us right into oblivion.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  57. David in Tampa

    The only Constitutional Amendment that makes any sense to me is the one about Banning Political Parties. These elected officials don't work for us they work for the welfare of the members of that political party and its perpetuation at our expense. Example: cut Medicare, cut Social Security, cut taxes, increase taxes, Give Ourselves a Raise and deny people devastated by economic downturns nothing. That about sums up why I no longer trust the government, and the two party system.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  58. virginia - Atlanta, GA

    There are several "Truth Finder" groups. They help. If questionable spin, misleading statements and outright lies were shown up, then more people would know which politicians to trust. Large populations would not believe there was a "death clause in the Health Care bill, other worthy and some not as worthy legislation would be understood for what it actually does, not spun by one group or another to suit its interests. Old fashioned honesty in Media (CNN does a good job, Fox not so much) would go a long way to trusting politicians and as important, creating honest politicians.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  59. Joey

    Our country is in need of and on the verge to a true revolution. When the time comes, will we as U.S. Citizens fight for liberty or the central bank.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  60. Rob in NC

    How about a meteor? The only other way is vote them all out and start over again. There are better odds on the meteor.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  61. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    The Civil War divided a nation over slavery but these people are dividing us over stupidity, greed and ego. Without some unity we'll continue to go to the bottom and maybe we have too to wake up America. These people are too busy keeping their jobs instead of doing them. Simple solution, one term for all offices of 6 years.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  62. Carl


    It's because every last one of these corrupt worthless Pigs, has the me mentality. These idiots are some of the worse self serving elects I have ever seen. We are in big trouble, we need to clean house on these Leeches, all of them!!!

    September 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  63. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, the answer is for the vast majority in the middle of the political spectrum to start making the same noises that the left and right do. It's a fact that people were leaving both political parties in droves before the election of 2008 and the more those parties moved towards the edge to appeal to their base, the more people in the center declared themselves independents. Hint: the Tea Party does not appeal to these people, nor speak for them.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  64. Robert Doman

    Greetings from Northern Ontario Jack, and Hello World. Do not worry about the current distrust and animosity amongst the people and the politicians as it is only temporary. As challenging as our current predicament appears to be, it will become much more clear, and much more complicated, very soon. Once Iran announces that it has developed "The Bomb", I am sure that all of our people and elected officials will be "on the same page" ..... of course it will be much too late to put that Djinn back in the bottle. These may well be remembered as "the good old days". Colour me pessimistic.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  65. Doug (from Miller Place, NY)

    There is only 1 answer. ALL incumbents (White House and Congress) must be voted out of office in the 2012 election. By doing this we will be sending a loud and clear message that incompetence, and wasting of our tax dollars, will not be tolerated, regardless of political party affiliation. Failure to vote them out of office, will just continue to encourage the status quo. We must hit them where it counts – in their pocketbooks. Perhaps if they understand what it feels like to be unemployed, they will finally understand the task at hand.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  66. Bob Herald

    Vote them all out of office. We can change the House next year and the Senate in 5years. There is something to be said for institutional memory but Congress is too far gone it needs radical surgery. Cut out all the Cancer turn the whole group over starting next election.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  67. Gary H. Boyd

    There is no answer Jack. The Democrats and GOP are both polarized and the guy in the Oval Office is in way over his head. It's total and complete gridlock. A dysfunctional, jaundiced, nightmare that bears no semblance to an orderly democracy. It is a complete disgrace and It is utterly hopeless. We have reached Armaggedon Jack - the end, Put on a life jacket and swim for the beach. The ship's going down.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    September 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  68. Shawn

    There is no answer. This is what we'll be forced to live with forever or until enough people lose enough to do something drastic. This society is all about winning. Just ask Charlie Sheen. When you have politicians signing pledges that contain promises that they wouldn't agree to on any normal day and politicians obviously being blackmailed by the tea party and corporations, there is no answer. There is no hope.

    Chesapeake, VA

    September 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  69. Baby in Florida

    When something's this broken, there may be no answer, unfortunately. That said, it seems to me that we have a two-party system that is not working. The only way to break the stalemate of Republicans vs. Democrats is to elect a third party who isn't in bed with with the Rs or Ds.

    If that doesn't work, perhaps the people will eventually become fed up enough to take to the streets like what happened in Egypt. If that happens, pray to whatever deity you embrace because the difference between Egypt and the U.S. is that Egypt had an army to send out into the streets. Our army? It's abroad fighting someone else's battles.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  70. Noel Sivertson Roswell New Mexico.

    Oh, it's been this divided before, and even more divided ,in the past; just prior to the Civil War for instance. Of course that lead to war. The debate between the Federalists and anti-Federalists during the ratification of the Constitution got pretty racous at times.

    But there is no answer today. 24/7 cable news channels and unlimited transparency in government have made it so. Elected leaders are terrified of making a mistake or mis-speaking or even compromising lest a constituent disagree with him or take offense. Too many politicos equate the word compromise with surrender today.

    The days when Republican and Demcoratic leaders could hash out compromises over a steak dinner are gone. Things were much better when they could retire to smoke filled rooms to iron out their differences.

    Todays government is an unintended consequence of transparency in government and the information age.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  71. Kelly Ontario, Canada

    There are no answers as long as people still refuse to seek the truth on their own instead of relying on a totally biased network that spreads lies as easily as breathing, and no I'm not talking about CNN...yet!! When people stand to make lots of money by trashing government by any means there are always going to be a certain percentage of the public that will believe it and most of these people can't even comprehend all of the good things that government does for them, you know like education, safety and defense. It certainly didn't help when at the most fragile time the President uses the countries pain to start an unnecessary war, that would leave a bad taste in anyones mouth.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  72. lou

    We can start our own revolution any time we want. All we have to do is vote every encumbant out. No exceptions. Then we let the new comers know if they don't find a way to work together, they're time will also be limited. If middle eastern countries can overturn dictators they've had for decades using social media, there is no reason we can't get something going here. We can take this government back through voting. The facebook revolution...out with them all...pass it on.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  73. Sylvia from San Diego

    Very simple, DO NOT RE-ELECT OBAMA.... He is behind the polarization that is taking place. It has gotten twice as bad since he took office.....

    September 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  74. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Another civil war. We, the civil ones, against the Tea Party Republicans. I no longer trust the government period, forget about doing right.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  75. Dennis north carolina

    t is simple, just fire all the republicans and let the democrats lead for four year. if they do not do the job we want than fire them and put the other party in for four years. the other way is to have a third party separate from they others not like the tea party which is not a party but a radical fringe of the republican party, or change our form of government.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  76. susan

    You’ve got to love the idealism of Obama for trying, but I fear that the days of compromise are over. At least that’s the current reality. It is a reality which feeds on hate, anger and greed. The only way anything substantial will ever get done in the future is when a president (any president) has both houses of Congress on his or her side. What better testament can I give than these last two years, which has proven that a divided government is a stagnant government?
    Mansfield, Ohio

    September 28, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  77. Paul From Austin Texas

    Herman Cain is a Real business man maybe that is what we need. Also his 9% fixed tax idea is gaining more steam than anyone running for the GOP clown race to date. Why doesn't the GOP remember why the Democrats could never win when they had to many running against the Bush and look as though they had no clue of what the public wanted. It sure looks as though the tide has turned against the GOP in general and Herman Cain could come out on top in the end and give Obama a real fight for the office of President.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  78. Wolverine 1 Sterling Hts. Mi

    Throw every one of them out of office, and replace them with common sense average housewives who balance family budgets every month.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  79. HJ - Saint Paul, MN

    We have to get rid of political parties. They serve no purpose to the people. Congress is making decisions based on loyalty to their party, not the country. We are suffering out here and they are treating this monstrous responsibility like a game.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  80. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Discover something that removes the log jam of craniums and keep pumping it into the elected officials brain until functioning rational thought processes take over.Until then, sequester the lot and don't feed them.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  81. LA Belle

    Politicians should not be allowed to make a life-long career as Congress members. Some members have become so arrogant, biased, negative and racist that they no longer care about this country and all its people. Lies and misinformation about what needs to change in this country will not fix the problems that exist. Republican Congress members know where the American tax dollars are being misspent, but they are unwilling to discuss it or disclose their past errors. These guys would rather pull the rug from under the taxpayers feet, all the while continuing to send borrowed money to foreign theives. It's so blatantly clear how this is what is destroying America.

    The inability to compromise for the good of this country means these politicians no longer deserve their Congressional positions. The answer is: change your attitude or step down from your position, or the voters will do it for you.

    Ruby (Louisiana)

    September 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  82. Steve

    100% of all Americans voting in primary and general elections, then we wouldn't have the extremists on both ends winning. Remember, WE put these people in office in the first place.


    September 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  83. Karl in Flint

    Only the politicians can answer this question. When they decide to grow up and act like responsible adults will this great divide be closed and we make progress. Unfortunately with FOX News, Rush and Glenn spewing their venom and keeping the easily influenced in a constant frenzy, the conservatives will happily remain in obstruct mode. As you said, it is a miracle we the fed up haven't marched on Congress and dragged the scoundrels out kicking.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  84. Ken in Seattle

    The Tea Party's stranglehold on the Republican Party prevents it from engaging in their long tradition of compromise in the interest of the country as a whole. The Tea Party does not want to govern as effective governing involves compromise. It wants to rule, without compromise, which is incompatible with our democratic principles and a method of governance reminiscent of authoritarian regimes the world over. The Tea Party is a cancer within the Republican Party which the sane rationale majority in that party must exorcise for the good of the country, not to mention the party itself. This country has endured and prospered because both parties have been willing to give up some of what they want for the greater good of the country. The health care debacle a notable exception. The puppeteers pulling the strings of the Tea Party and their minions in congress do not seem to care at all about the greater good of the country. Holding up funding for FEMA's disaster relief because of their extremist ideology is a good case in point. They are seemingly devoid of compassion. Until the Republican Party is able to radically diminish, or eradicate, the Tea Party's influence and their extremist ideology and return to their traditional approach to governance the government will unfortunately remain severely divided, at great loss for the country and all that it should stand for.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  85. Fay in Abilene Tx

    If Congress is out of touch with what a majority of Americans favor, maybe we voters are not informed enough as to whom we are voting into office or what they actually represent..An educated and motivated electorate is vital to a democracy.Otherwise, we end up with just what we now have- a bunch of immature clowns.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  86. Gordon NJ

    Jack, Here is one thing than can be done. Until 1995, new members of congress from both parties would spend several days together in freshman orientation classes to learn the mechanics and traditions of congress. Many of these new legislators formed long-term friendships across party lines. When Newt Gingrich took over as Speaker of the House, he closed down this tradition and demanded that Republicans not fraternize with Democrats. This institutionalized hatred has born fruit as the disfunctional congress now in DC. Is it too much for Americans to ask that John Boehner undo Gingrich's poisonous mistake?

    September 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  87. Pete in Georgia

    One answer would be for a conservative like Chris Christie to be elected President and have he and his administration create a forum to educate Americans what free enterprise is and that it's not evil, it's importance for it to flourish with minimum government interference, that it's the "lifeblood" for jobs and our economy. The misinformed and deceived citizens who have been lied to for generations would open their eyes to the benefit of a government who will STAY OUT OF THE WAY of business. Large business, small business, ALL business.
    America can then come together as one nation and become the world's leader in more than only military might.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  88. Susan NJ

    The government divided seems to be a good thing when it comes to our President and the Democratic party. After almost three years in office he has finally decided to take a stand and correct the unfair taxation of Americans. He had both Houses in Congress and did nothing now it's a little harder to correct but now he is willing to give it a try.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  89. Gary Hassay

    Hi Jack,

    I think the problem is that many of our elected officials do not feel the pressure from their voters.

    Instead, they are worried if their decisions will affect their fundraising efforts for reelection.

    Even the media gets caught up in reporting fundraising efforts of Congressmen and makes assumptions about the popularity of candidates based on the amount of money he or she is able to raise.

    We have got to enact some type of campaign finance reform to stop PACs from using loose Supreme Court rulings (namely the "Citizens United" case) which have now given significant voting authority to money instead of our own citizenship.

    It's time for politicians to work for their constituencies, not their fundraising concerns.

    Gary H.
    Youngstown, OH

    September 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  90. Reid

    It's beyond me that our leaders can't see that working together is the best way to solve our country's problems. There seems to be a general lack of any common sense. The myth of free markets and every-man-for-himself personal responsibility is a proven loser idea that has only served to make the rich richer and the poor unemployed. It's up to the media to go on a crusade of finding and revealing what will work and what won't and explaining to the public through the use of facts and feted experts why these solutions must be embraced. Only the media have the resources and power to wake up the sleeping masses that are the citizens of Europe and America. Every television night must feature a documentary and roadmap to economic and political opportunity for all. the media have the responsibility to lead where politicians have proven they cannot. Government and the opportunity it affords us to work together as a Nation and as a people, is not the problem. It is the answer. For working together is the only way we will succeed in making our world and our own lives better.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  91. Steve, Clifton, VA

    I am so profoundly puzzled why American voters have gotten and are getting exactly what they voted for. The Congressman and Senators are merely a reflection of the voters that placed them in office. Voters wanted gridlock and no compromise which can only result in broken politics and Government. To compound the problem, American voters are knowingly voters against their own self interest or the well-being of the country just to take a political position which opposes another American. We have made our Government a common enemy of the country.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  92. Mycroft Lake Travis Texas

    Glad you asked, President Obama needs to make good on one of his campaign promises (the ending Scooter Libby Justice one) and indict the Bush Administration for their crimes against the Constitution and War Crimes. After all the truths be known about their crimes, there will be a hault of obstructionism, because the GOP members still in the house and senate that backed the Bush Administration will be running for cover, to protect themselves as being seen as traitors against the USA. Over a million innocent people have been murdered, maimed and tortured, because Saddam Huessien was just too willing to sell Oil for twenty dollars a barrel. The Bush Administration's masquerade, needs to be fully exposed to restore the USA to honesty and greatness,we need to start imprisioning the white collar criminals that have totally screwd over our country.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  93. Dr. Giorgio in Italy

    All the major politcal parties should merge, and create new solutions to help all americans from the quaqmire that they're in. Idealistic beliefs, altruism, beneficence, caring for our fellow man, will help us all survive together. Let's try to reach an Utopia.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  94. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    When America was founded the absence of today's technology meant we needed long serving Representatives and Senators. Now what we need is one person one vote. No delegates. No Electoral College. Representatives are not only unnecessary they are obstructive. The citizens will decide they don't want to default, that they don't want to blank-check eternal wars, that they don't want to lose the vote (Georgia, Florida, Ohio.) What we do want is for our opinions to mean something.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  95. abby

    I think the problem stems from more than one cause: political office being seen as a career rather than public SERVICE. Voters need to educate themselves to the issues and examine carefully what the politicians say and what they actually do. Voters need to find out who are the main contributors to these politicians because the big donors have more influence. Another cause is that some of the media (I could mention a particular network but won't) are merely propaganda machines. Voters need to use reason and ignore the rhetoric; voters need to use common sense and ignore the sound-bites. Voters should NOT vote for extremists. When extremism makes inroads, the roads lead to destruction.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  96. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack,The answer has never changed.It is simple to we the taxpayers.And the answer "is"...........put your country and its people for once in your selfish life ahead of re election.What right do you have to squander all our money while you eat

    September 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  97. Jesse from DFW


    You are correct!

    It is the Republican objective. It's not about what is best for our nation, it's about what is best for them!

    They have no respect for no one who thinks different from them.

    They remind me of Osama Bin Laden. They don't have to look like him to be like him.

    Never in the history of our nation has a President been so disrespected.

    On the other hand, we never had a President of color until now.

    Maybe this is the problem ... for who? ... It's time for Government by the people to rise up and do what is best for all americans!

    September 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  98. Brian from, Fountain Colorado

    Are Government is deliberately divide by congress, so they can cause deliberate failures that look like an accident. If they make a crime look like an accident they get away with the crime. Then the economical downturn hits us, then we pay the price on are way of life.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  99. Stella-Northern New York

    Hello Jack. You can start by banning our Congressmen and the Whitehouse from excepting money from lobbyists and any other special interests foreign or domestic. Perhaps then they will start behaving like Statesmen instead of puppets pandering to the money grab bags. As to whether they will put Country over party and work together to solve our problems may require voting the existing Reps out and term limits. They too are a reflection of the people who voted them into office and behave accordingly. If your not seeing yourself I REPEAT they should be voted out of office. In addition WE AMERICANS are also divided and miles apart as to what we want for this Country and what we are willing to pay. I admit "one shoe" does not fit all and if we can't meet in the middle then perhaps one day we will decide to divide this Country into "small countries" that reflect our own customized beliefs. OR WE CAN ALL GROW UP AND STAY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

    September 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  100. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Amazing, isn't it. After 75 years of Big Government things have went right back to where it all started. People need to take responsibility for their lives and stop expecting government to do it. The Federal Government has no business in the Welfare Business, the Medical Business, and for the most part Collecting and Disbursing money. And we have a 14.5 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt to prove it. Why would anyone put someone else in charge of their future. Big Liberal Policies failed in the Old Soviet Union, and are a smashing sucess here.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  101. Ann from Charleston SC

    The obvious answer is to send all of them home in 2012, yet I fear what we might get in their place. The new members may turn into worse megalomaniacs than the ones we have now.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  102. Arthur Sayed

    The answer is obviously Ron Paul. His platform is simple: I’m giving you your Bill of Rights back. Short of his revolution, the best we can hope for is divided government and persistent gridlock. The Democrats and Republicans by definition can only do horrible and destructive things, so the most desirable outcome is for them to never pass any legislation.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  103. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    The Tea Party members of Congress have to be voted out in '12.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  104. Sandstone.

    "Well I was going to give a miss for today and tomorrow, but I realise how much you need my support! I have so much work to do, trying to write my two on going novels, and yet another asignment. So my so much needed and added info I feel I must say 'Let it Happen!' Divisions soon find new divisions, and then it's up to the voters to do some research (which most never do, and should do) Camouflage may work on the battle field, but with so many windows to look through today, theyl have a hard time hiding from me!|

    September 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  105. J Farrow, New Orleans

    The answer is: Stop sending Republicans to Washington. They have no business serving in a government they do not believe in. Federal Republican office holders go to Washington to obstruct progress, protect their big special interest donors and to get rich themselves.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  106. andyz Lynn, MA

    Vote the bums out! Each and every one! The Republicans can take money from the rich and stay bought. The Democratic Party can fantasize that they actually represent the poor, the infirm, the middle class and the elderly. What I would advise both parties to research Louie and Marie Antoinette. They're popularity went low too.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  107. David from Herndon, VA

    I think we need to overhaul campaign finance. Let's get some guys in Congress who aren't bought by private money.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  108. Marc B Los Angeles, CA

    It's the chair Jack. Chair vs.Country

    There is nothing that compares to the power of the chair
    Whether a king, or a queen, you fall for it without care
    It seduces, it attracts, challenges you to a dare
    It snatches your soul, even God doesn’t know where

    The chair has attacked members of congress
    It’s taken over what once had made sense
    16 million unemployed, country in big mess
    The chair keeps winning, causing us stress

    The pain is growing, hurt is everywhere
    Markets are falling, you can turn nowhere
    We’re getting fired; their jobs ‘ still there
    People have regrets handing them that chair

    September 28, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  109. Arlene, Roselle, Illinois

    The answer is Term Limits but that will never happen in my lifetime , so the people who keep re-electing these
    bums are partly to blame also.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  110. Gigi Oregon

    The answer would be to teach U.S. history in school. I haven't trusted the Republican Party since Nixon and Watergate. People went to prison over that Republican crime. Then we had the Religious right preaching the hope of "GWB and God" another Republican downer in history. I think the Republican party is using God...to sell us a bill of goods. They make a plan and ask God to bless it and so far I haven't seen God cooperating. That plan ended up with our young men and women losing their lives in a war in the wrong country. But don't forget the rich got a tax break. When are "the People" going to wake up...Republicans are telling us it would be OK to bleed dry the middle class to make 5% of the people the wealthiest on earth. FOR WHAT... Now, you wonder why the people have no trust in the government. Or is it the Republican party that is the thorn in our governments side. I was dumb enough to vote republican in the last election but...it ain't going to happen again.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  111. Nad

    Throw the bums out, have a constitutional mandate to outlaw lobbying and campaign contributions, have them pledge to serve the people first – not corporation, not lobbyist or foreign interest, change length of office to minimize perpetual campaign mode – tie pension and pay with their performance

    September 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  112. June

    The answer is to clean house and start over. Vote them all out.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  113. Ken in MD

    Only 15% of Americans trust the government to do what's right always or most of the time? Who are these 15%? Members of Congress? It's time to wipe the slate clean and bring in people who know how to negotiate and find common ground so they can do the business of the people. The current crop doesn't seem at all interested in that.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  114. Chuck from Maryland

    After resounding losses in the White House and both houses of Congress in 2008, the Republican Party was all but dead. Their last-gasp? Make everybody angry. Stir the pot by organizing hate and fringe groups into TEA Parties, firing them all up to "take back government." (From whom? The people overwhelmingly just elected?) Start by convincing them Obama is a Muslim non-citizen. Hand out a few buzzwords, like "Socialist" and "Class Warfare." Then convince them that the complex issues of taxation, the economy and domestic and foreign policy really all boil down to simple common sense. (Which of course they don't.) Ironically now even centrists and more moderate conservatives fear the Frankenstein Monster of their own creation. Maybe there is no answer. Or maybe Republicans could distance themselves from those angry, flag-waving Obama-hating nincompoops, allowing both sides to holster their pointing fingers,sit down together and start acting like patriots.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  115. Terry Wells -Hoosier Hillbilly-IN

    Obama is an admirier of Lincoln and modeled himself after him, 'suppposedly'! Lincoln stated: " a house divided against itself can not stand"–Obama take note, you got your own party arguiing amonguest themselves and the republicans are in shambles. NOTE:Tea party members are the only group in this poll who say it's more important for politicians to stick to their beliefs.- that's got its pros & cons, but atleast it's a STAND! And I do feel it's what they think the citizens sent them there for?
    NEXT MOVE for citizens: They're lucky in Washington the citizens haven't marched on the place yet.
    What's the answer?
    If "U" know what I mean?

    September 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  116. jeff in hawaii

    To end all this partisanship, I would reccomend taking away thier free health care, make them pay for it. Reduce thier salaries to the median average income of all Americans, give them a chance to clip coupons and decide which bills to pay and which ones to let slide. Take away all those days off, I mean seriously, work 3 days a week, numerous weeklong holidays? No more fact finding junkets unless they travel by military a transportt that just happen to be headed the same way, and last but not least, make it so if anyone whover has served in Congress is never able to hold a job as a lobbyist.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  117. Greg Rockford, IL

    Vote out every incumbent regardless of party affiliation. That will teach the ones in office that they better work together and compromise, or you'll be out in two years yourself. Repeat till they learn the lesson.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  118. Christy

    I'd like to say, start over. BUT who would want the job? Only those with money can run and those with money don't understand what the average people of America are facing. How do we fix it – wake up, figure out who IS working for what you believe in and go out and use the power of your vote!
    Phoenix, AZ

    September 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  119. Sarah from Southwick, MA

    I think it would behoove the Republican Party, and the rest of us, if they tried to sever their ties with the Tea Party, and make them a third party. I believe they would fade away fast if they were no longer associated with the GOP. I am all for a third party contender, because it makes for good campaining, all though you know they will come up short. In this case, I'm pretty sure they would.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  120. Jim-Charlotte NC

    Yhe problem is 24 hour Cable News. With politically bias networks like Fox politicians are afraid to vote their conscience for fear of reprisal from these hard core networks. Gotten so bad with Fox that if you send emails that question their judgement they then block your email address and the emails are returned with excuses like computer not on, mailbox full or unable to connect.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  121. Sandra Y Alvarado

    I personally think the people we have in office do not understand the true American struggle. They have forgotten they are running a nation not a state and if that's an issue they should go back to the state level. And stop these extreme groups they are not helping.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  122. curtis in philadelphia

    Sadly Jack there's no quick fix which is what we need right now. The long term answer is for a viable third-party, but the two entrenched ones will never let that happen. Maybe when the Tea Party puts their man-pants on, they will succeed from the Republican party to become that third party, so that real Republicans can get back to their roots of conservative values, and they won't have a governor running for president of the United States just months after saying his state should succeed from those very same United States.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  123. Pete in Milton, FL

    Jack, the answer is SO simple. 1) get ALL the private money out of ALL politics; public financing of all campaigns, with spending limits; NO private contributions, in cash or kind, to ANY politician, ANY time. 2) disband and outlaw political parties – EVERY politician must be an unaffiliated Indpendent. 3) fire all politicians at the 2012 election – it's time to start over, with a fresh slate of representatives. 4) all voters must pass a knowledge test on the candidates and the top 10 issues prior to being allowed to vote; an ignorant electorate is responsible for a LOT of our current problems.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  124. David Doherty

    Jack I never hear you talk about getting rid of the incubants anymore. That is exactly how to shake things up! If they've served more than one term give them the boot. Our government was not designed for career politicians. The ballots need to highlight the incumbant names in red so people know who not to vote for. It doesn't matter if you haven't heard of the guy before, they can't be any worse than the guy there replacing.
    Dave from NH.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  125. Bob Mears

    Makes me wonder what that 15% is thinking. Guess there are more pinball wizards in the U.S. than I thought. Bob @ AZ

    September 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  126. Kathie

    the partisonship and obstructionism of the tea party/boehner/canter/mc connell is the root cause and have voiced thier refusal to compromise/honestly dialogue. my nonrepresentatives (ron johnson and paul ryan) offices disconnect the phone call when calling to voice an opinion–they don't care about the opinions of those they supposedly represent. johnson does not respond to repeated calls/emails. ryan only has some anonymous office person put a form letter in the mail that generally does not even address the issue related. term limits desparately needed. congress should dtake a 50% pay cut–maybe that would rattle their cages.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  127. john thomas

    A revelation Jack, We the people need to take over things and completely restructure our government. It will never change on its own because big money runs our government. It buys our politicians for the interest of large corporations, it keeps them in office term after term to sway legislation in their favor. Corporations run media campaigns to fire up the morons in the country to influence public opinion. It's a catch twenty two and it well never change without "we the people" standing up for our rights.
    John Thomas, Fl. Keys

    September 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  128. RickFromDetroit

    After the past 30 years our country is so divided by the "haves" and the "have nots" that it is to late to compromise. To compromise today would be the same as to tell a bank robber to keep $999,999 of the $1,000,000 he stole and call it even. The supper committee will without a doubt be looking for cuts from entitlements such as SSA, food stamps, health care, education, etc., and any other program for the "have nots," while they promote tax cuts for the wealthy, corporations, wall street, and anything else that benefits the "haves." We will be more divided when they are done, and the rich will be richer and the poor will be poorer.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  129. Brandon from Denver, CO

    Tie the compensation of our policy makers to the median wage in this country. And let's not forget about the unemployed. They should be factored into the equation as zeroes just like the social security equation. It just might get them to understand exactly who it is they SHOULD be working for.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  130. barbara in nc

    The R's are split into several factions: Conservatives and about 10 different Tea Pots, and now there is a Pirate Party. Wonder who they will split.

    When we have 535 people voting 535 different ways, it's dead in the water and time to KICK THEM ALL OUT. We need people that do NOT think compromise and "we the people" are bad nasty words.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  131. Ben from PA

    Get the government into the oil business. Use it to pay our debt, pay for education and eventually to reduce taxes on everyone. Its time. Or america will self destruct.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  132. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    The answer is to get money out of politics. Every candidate with a qualifying number of signatures gets equal amounts of money. Anyone found to use outside funds OR to campaign before 12 months before the election to be disqualfied. Consitutional ammendment against lobbying: Convert K St. to a homeless shelter. Ammendment that corporations are NOT people. Intelligence and sanity tests for candidates couldn't hurt either.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  133. lilmagothy, annapolis

    A third party to break deadlocks. Term limits – 6 years per senator, 3 per representative – to get out of the constant re-election pandering. No lobbying allowed anywhere near congress. No PAC money and corporations are no longer "people". Dollar limits on election campaigns; no contributions from outside the district. Congressional salaries equal to the median income of the district/state they represent. Fewer, if any perks. No more 2 weeks work and one week vacation. Maybe then, the morons on the Hill will realize they're just ordinary people who have to get along like the rest of us, and not America's psuedo-royalty.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  134. Renee Peoria,Ill

    Easy. Stop giving so much attention to the minority of crazies just because they scream the loudest. Stop voting for politicians who prefer loyalty to party over loyalty to their country and constituents. Most important of all, kick out anyone who lives by the 'greed is good' motto. Forget what they're saying, all politicians lie; look at what they're doing.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  135. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    My solution is to do away with the Tea Party. I say this because the political in-fighting in Congress has only gotten worse since they came onto the scene, and they've done little as far as offering any solutions to the current situations with the jobs issue, the economy, and Social Security. Americans want compromise, not name-calling, and that's all the Tea Party is interested in.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  136. Dan K

    The media I think is the main cause of the divisiveness controlling our government today! When you have media idols such as Limbaugh, Beck, Scarborough, Murdock’s Fox news hammering us with hate and negative propaganda how do you expect the norm of our elected officials to respond?
    Because of Fox’s popularity even CNN is making its news instead of reporting it. The only difference is CNN has both sides represented (usually)
    Dan K.
    Owens Cross roads Alabama!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  137. Valerie in Raleigh

    Hello from Raleigh. The problem with government started when the religious right took over the Republican Party. Add the Tea Party crazies and government has become non-functional. This lifetime Republican turned Independent feels the answer is the 2012 election. Everything the President has tried to do has been blocked by the Republicans even when they once said this was a good idea. Send the Tea Party packing, put religion back in the churches and out of government, require politicans to defend their attacks on the other Party and heavily fine any politican who uses bad language. Let the League of Women Voters supervise the "children" and put decent behavor back into government.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  138. Sam Martin in PA

    People need to stop having their vote bought by TV ads and one liners and actually use the Internet to find out what their representatives are doing and what the alternative candidate really believes. It is not that hard. Sadly, many voters only follow what is going on a few weeks before they vote and do not research the truth. I have a friend that believed the person they voted for in 2010 did not really mean what they said in 2009. They voted to get "rid of the rascals." They are now upset that the person they voted for is worse than what they had. They did not investigate, they just voted in anger. Until people vote with their brains and not emotion, we will just get worse representation.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  139. Jon Cameron

    Adding a new quasi party was never going to bring us together, but instead divide us into thirds. A majority no longer exists in a society with a voting foundation.

    Dallas, TX

    September 28, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  140. Linda in Arizona

    Our government is more badly divided than maybe it has ever been. What's the answer?

    Remedial grammar?

    September 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  141. Colton

    Revolution, revolution, revolution.

    Colton CA

    September 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  142. lindaglenn

    Jack five words stop voteing for these clowns!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  143. Dave - Phx, Az

    Term limits are the answer.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  144. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    The Republicans desire for political power has reached the point of obsession. Like a drug addict's desire for drugs. Say anything, do anything, lie cheat,steal to get more drugs(power). If the consequences resulting from them having the power weren't so severe I'd say give them what they want and let them O.D.
    The problem is they will take the rest of us down with them.

    There is no answer until we can get money out of the election process.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  145. Susan from Idaho

    Jack you are preaching to the choir. Tell those jack wagons holding office. That's why a one term limit is the key. Do it right or pump gas,

    September 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  146. Ceemak. La.

    I have advised my grandchildren to leave this country.... it is no longer functional....We have politicians who have been in Congress for decades and are the problem.....suddenly they are against everything they helped create.....big bad feds............The american electorate has got to be the dumbest on the planet.......

    September 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  147. Ryan G


    The problem is that the American public elects people who happen to have extreme ideological views. To fix this we need to have more of the general public participating in the polls not just the regulars who show up to vote!

    Ryan G
    Malta, NY

    September 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  148. Matt

    A REALLY big war with China. Or invading aliens. Unfortunately, the only thing that unites us all is a major threat of destruction from an outside force.
    Saint Augustine, FL

    September 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  149. Ghangis Khan

    FIRE THEM ALL!!! The Senators and House Members and make sure they have no entitlements and no pay.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  150. Scott James

    Jack, I'm not sure I have all the answers to fix the problem, but term Limits for the House and Senate would go a long way in helping to solve this problem.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  151. Andrew Stegall

    Everyone who wants to work together should ditch the parties and become Independents. I did long ago. The parties would weaken and have to do better to earn back members.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  152. Donald Rome

    These may not all require constitutional amendments, but that would make them more certain, a voters bill of rights:
    1 – Ban redistricting based upon political preference
    2 – Corporations are NOT people
    3 – No vote in congress shall require more then a simple majority unless otherwise required by the constitution
    4 – Abolish the electoral college
    5 – Do I hear term limits anyone?

    September 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  153. Nathan

    Jack, our entire society and economy needs to be restructured. We need to implement a Resource-Based Economy, which could easily provide and support the needs of all the worlds people. If we can do this, all the world will see the problems we face today become non-existent. No form of government will Ever be able to solve the common problems we face today.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  154. Peter G. Wendler

    Jack, politicians should realize the "American Spring" that you mention is about moderation and not a groundswell from one side or the other. As a Republican, and an Iowan whose voice is "vital" to my party leaders, it is amazing that I realize this fact more than they do.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  155. Shelley Furgason

    John Adams feared our government being spit and he was right! This 2-party dictatorship is ruining the country.
    The answer is...The UNITED States of America not the decisiveness that these 2 moronic parties create should end.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  156. Greg from Boston

    The problem is that our politicians are concerned with being re-elected more than being concerned with good government. Set a long term (4-6 year term ) for political offices, with no chance for reelection, make removal of bad politicians from office somewhat easier, and limit what other offices a politician may take after finishing a term in their original office.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  157. Pete, NJ

    Shakespeare had it right 400 years ago. Even then he recognized the problem. In Richard II he advised, "First, kill all the lawyers". While I don't advocate killing anyone over their beliefs, getting rid of them in Congress would be a good start.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  158. BJ from SC

    Let's face it Jack, if you vote for a tea party candidate, you have to recognize that votes have consequences. Now we see what those consequences are.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  159. Mia, Sarasota FL

    What's the answer to our divided government you ask? Fire them all, Democrats and Republicans, and elect a much younger generation to lead us out of this mess! If they can't play nicely with each other, then they don't deserve to play at all. Just sayin'...

    September 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  160. Bill

    Term Limits

    September 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  161. Logan

    It's time for our lawmakers to finally do their jobs. It's time for our lawmakers to do the work for the people and let this "lifetime" politician idea fade to the past. Our politicians work for reelection, not for the people anymore.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  162. Jerry

    Get rid of Obama,and the radical extemist left, that are controling the Senate.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  163. Ken @ OR Coast

    We need some adults to solve this problem.
    Term limits might help.
    Politicians should serve the needs of the country instead of their own careers and their campaign funding.
    Their loyalty to lobbyists should be criteria for their removal.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  164. Seana

    We need to get corporations out of politics- it's as simple as that. Corporations are NOT people- their only interests are power and the profits that power leads to. They cannot be held responsible for the harm they cause in the same way individuals can. We cannot continue this farce of corporate personhood and imagine our government will reflect anything other than corporate interests no matter who we elect.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  165. Liz Johnson Idaho

    We need to desegregate congress. Force dems to sit next to republicans and visa versa. Segregation only fuels hatred as seen with the blacks and whites with regards to racial segregation. If desegregation helped to decrease racial tensions, why not do the same for politics? I don't care if it is alphabetical or whatever, but if you keep sitting next to people who agree with you all the time, you never learn anything. We need to gain respect for the other party...and while desegregation wouldn't fix everything...it would help.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  166. Ebe Helm

    Ebe Helm – New Jersey
    Our government is more badly divided than maybe it has ever been. What's the answer?
    Accelerate a general election to all seats in the US House of Representatives.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  167. Gail, Plano TX.

    Jack: This is not a democracy. After the election of an American President by the Superme Court in 2000, our democracy was finished. The reason the people despise the Congress is because they do not do the will of the people. We have no voice, Jack. It is as simple as that.
    Yes indeed, an American spring is in the air!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  168. Pat in Michigan

    It might be time to "throw da bums out"as it were . When our politicians care more about their "phony bologna jobs " than the public welfare .it is time t make sweeping changes. vote in centrists vote out party liners.
    I think that it is written some where that the role of the Federal govt. is to provide for the common welfare of it's citizens.That is not happening . Money we don't have is being tossed around mindlessly. It Must stop.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  169. Jerry in Indianapolis

    A benevolent dictator.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  170. Stephanie Angelos - Seattle

    Seems to me that anything that causes this much division and anger needs to be minimized. People are angry because our gov't is taking all our money and wasting it. I'm not a tree hugger but I think a smaller footprint is the answer for government.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  171. Todd from Waynesville

    Jack, the answer is, WE the American voters must stop re-electing these same politicians who continue to accomplish "NOTHING" while standing by their supposed "principles". The principle ALL members of congress need to have is doing whats best for the AMERICAN PEOPLE. NOT their polical careers!!!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  172. John McG

    It is time for the American people to make time in their day to take control of their government. We should not trust the government. We should be the government. Know the issues. Pick something important to you and become an expert. Lobby your government. Take to the streets. Demand that money from global corporations including the giant banks that get $trillions from our government are not allowed to buy your politicians. Occupy Wall St!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  173. Drew from PA

    We the people of this nation, who have the ability to take action against the greedy minority of politicians, have the responsibility to take action. We've seen our time, money, and requests being shunned by our elected officials. Cut the taxes Jack! Give this nation back to the people, the majority!! Cut the number of elected posts and government waste. Sen. Pat Toomey and Sen. Tom Coburn are tasked with this job, I believe we will see successful outcomes. God Bless the United States of America

    September 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  174. Shelby - Georgetown (Texas)

    Jack, way back when I was in the Service and a situation was going to hell in a handbasket, I tried to stop a second and ask myself 'What is the mission?'. Well, the nation's mission is spelled out in the Declaration and the Constitution. Why don't we try that for a change?

    September 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  175. Vince Hugh

    Our gov't is badly divided because most informed voters in their heart feel that the correct way to get our gov't in order is to take the thrifty spending and hardnose sacrifices that must be made. The reason for the divide is that the media which is overwhelmingly pro-Obama and liberal in its outlook on issues, visually fights the changes that have to be made that Republicans have put forward. The Tea Party is right-on and practical, but the media can't get themselves to face up to reality. This is the core problem and cause for division. The public doesn't get the correct information.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  176. Jermaine from Alexandria Louisiana

    Jack, this congress has no substance to do anything, even when the American people are speaking. The speaker needs to go away and let Eric Cantor lead his ship elsewhere, because neither one of them will be returning and they no it.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  177. Perplexed in Canada

    How could the American public trust their politicians when they have proven to care more about their own jobs and re-elction than what is good for the majority of your population? Most of the people I know in Canada support what your president belives in. He is a smart man who wants to help people...trust in him, maybe you will all be surprised.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  178. John Thomas

    Real campaign finance reform. We need our elected officials to be able to operate without fear of large stealth money, and Corporate money, driving lawmaking to effect the bottom lines of the few.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  179. Jim

    Jack the answer is getting the politicians accountable to the voters, instead of to the special interest. Every vote boils down to which constituancy is going to be offended. Limit the money politicians can raise and you will see them become more interested in doing what's right. Limit the campaign contributions to individuals only and not companies or unions.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  180. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    Stop the practice of drawing "safe districts". Move to have states adopt a grid system of representation so that everyone has a fair shot at election, and adopt strict term limits. They would then return to the private sector. Career politicians is how we got into this mess.Then we would return to " public servants" who have the good of the country at heart and not the good of their pocketbook.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  181. Ed from Colorado

    The answer is to elect one party to office. That would probably allow things to get done right or wrong. If we don't like what is happening, elect the alternate party.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  182. Vin

    Jack, I've said it before on CNN forums and I'll say it again....the solution is to eliminate "political parties" altogether. Let candidates for office draw their money from the same pool, let them run on their own platforms. Get rid of "primaries", instead have an open election, and if one didn't get a clear majority of the votes, then run the highest three winners for the same office in a final runoff. Politicians, even within a party often have conflicting views. But it is easier to compromise when you don't have to worry about being ostrasized by a whole party.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  183. Helen Chaparro

    I wish that the blame would be put where it belongs, in the lap of the Republicans, our president has tried again and again to pass some incredible things to help our country with a constant NO from Republicans. Just remember people how we got here, 8 years of no taxes and small government, wars we shouldn't have fought or be in...wake up America. I kind of like the idea the guy put here that we divide the fifty states in half Republican/Democrats and just see which country would do best. I am afraid there would be hardly anyone living in the Republican side because there aren't that many rich people as there are poor.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  184. J.R. Proctor

    Government might be fixed when Congressional members are limited to only two terms the same as the President. Congressmen and Senators need to accept the fact they will not be long term, not be popular and realize they may only be a one term politician. Also, very importantly, they need to do what is best for the people who they represent, the country and forget about trying so hard to please their political party.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  185. Rebecca

    If you are a democrat I say we stay home on election day and let the Tea Party have the government so they can get rid of over sight and regulation and Social Security and see where the country is in 3 years! Maybe that will light a fire for whats right in this country...i.e. taking care of the poor, elderly, and diabled!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  186. Ben in pennsylvania

    With the two party system in gridlock and the quarrels within those parties complicating their ability to break this gridlock. Maybe we should consider a parliamentary system. Spin off the tea party from the republicans. Spin off the extreme left from the demarcates. If these elected officials can't build concencus, let them build coalitions.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  187. Barney

    Replace every member of Congress. This has become the new feudal regime with everything moving to the rich and basic rights denied to those "below" them. Taxing the rich is class warfare – and they've been orchestrating this war for the last 50 years and it's time for those outside this exclusive club to take back what they've earned. Congress sets the tax laws, spends our money and then blames "the other party" for their own self-centered choices. It's time for a massive overhaul of the system and the only way to start this is to remove the people responsible for our current condition.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  188. Peter Cohen, Toms River NJ

    Treat it like any war that would be fought against a common enemy on US soil. Marshall all of the will and resources of the people and the government behind a unified plan of attack. Not 50 separate plans of attack! It's not my...it's our way.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  189. Bruce

    Simple: term limits and limited campaign spending!! Oh, and take away the Congress' right to a beautiful pension after just a single term.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  190. Andrew CA

    Kill the career politician. Bring back the "public service" aspect of working in the entire Congress and representing your peers. Bring in term limits for Congressmen and Congresswomen so that you can't sit in a seat for 32 years and just keep the same status quo. The same person cannot be president for more than 8 years so why can someone be a Senator for as long as they wish.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  191. Monica Smith

    Our elections are a farce driven solely by those who can raise hideous amounts of money. It is a huge flaw in our system. We need to be able to vote for candidates who are really passionate about doing the best for our country. Perhaps then we will have genuine candidates to choose from, and perhaps then our system will begin to heal.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  192. Richard Johns

    The answer is we need thruth in Washington. America is bankrupt. We need a new limited approach to government, a sound monetary policy, a president who understands economics; someone who predicted the housing bubble and the outcome of the bailouts. We need someone who will cut income taxes to zero. We need someone who will reign in government spending by stopping the printing press. Is there anyone out there like that Jack, if so I'm sure the media wouldn't be talking about him. In Liberty, A concerned American.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  193. Pete, NJ

    Term Limits, definitely term limits. 12 years total elected service in any job. Two terms in the Senate, or three in the house and 1 in the senate, or one House, one Senate and one as President. Then go home and earn a living under the laws they create. If we had listened to Jefferson, maybe we wouldn't be in this mess.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  194. PG in MD

    Until now, it seems many Americans focused only on the presidential race since they falsely believe that the president has some kind of omnipotent power. What they need to better understand is that it is the congress and the senate have a much bigger role in what happens. So why do we only give a term limit to the president, but not to senate and congress (OK because they get to vote on that themselves.. as well as their pay and benefits.. what a gig!) What "we the people" need to do is focus more on the congress and senate races. First, we need to vote everyone out. Then we need to force the government to institute term limits and an amendment to the constitution that congress and senate must also live the the same rules they impose on the American people. We also need to connect their rate of pay and benefits directly to the success of the economy. This way, they will be forced to be accountable and make the economy succeed or lose pay. Sure we will see great changes then!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  195. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    The American people face lots of problems. You point out no confidence in the Federal Government. Really, "they" set the pace followed by the states, the counties and the city rulers. What the Feds get away with, the states want to get away with, then the counties and the city governments..... To put it mildly, we got torubles, we got troubles right here in "River City" and it ain't about marching bands !

    September 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  196. John

    Why are most complicated problems solved with a simple solution? The answer is simple. Do away with terms like democrat and republican. The idea of a politician being a public servant is long gone. No more political affiliation may mean they actually start serving the people again. Wouldnt that be a "change" obama could be proud of!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  197. Terry in Virginia

    It's long overdue that our elected representatives work for the people and not for themselves and special interest groups. If this economy is going to turn around, we need leaders - not party loyalists, not orators - leaders who aren't afraid of losing an election in order to put this country back on the correct path. We must elect leaders who put the people first and leave their party ideologies outside the door. "Compromise" is not a dirty word. This is not a left or right issue. Our economy is not a football game. Come 2012 we must vote for real leaders, not the incumbent losers we have now.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  198. Ed Evans

    A revolt, a revolution. This President has if anything been right of center and I'm tired of it. The republicans won't compromise at all. The Presidents Jobs Bill has America written all over it. It's time the (those poor) millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. The President needs to tell them if you're not for it you are Anti-American. If you are not with us you are against us. Hmmm...where have I heard this before?

    September 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  199. Jake

    As conditions in the nation and government grow worse, so does the stress of all politicians. More and more pressure builds on them to fix this country. However, because time is critical, poitical parties become more polarized and stubborn with their respective policies that they forget about compromise. The parties need to stop blaming each other for who caused the mess and start listening to each other instead.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  200. Jeff In Minnesota

    It the extremes from the left and the right that have done us in. We let these extremists drive who runs and who wins their respective nominations. It's time for an independent party to come to the fore and marginalize the extremists.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  201. Casey Ledoux

    Eliminate all party titles and affiliations. Political parties are groups of people with absolutist beliefs voting on relative issues. Enough of the "party line". There lies the problem with the system. It is inherently conflicted. Partisan issues divide us and move our attention away from real issues. Eliminate all corporate funding and outlaw lobbyism. Establish an easily accessible platform that allows people to tell politicians what their concerns are.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  202. Gary Kehner NC

    Its easy Jack. Since the Government is into testing teachers only to allow the best, then lawmakers should be tested before they run on how much they are willing to compromise on key issues and we should hold them to that. If they are unwilling to compromise and dont fit the matrix, then they shouldnt be permitted toi hold office.Republicans are big into signing these type of pledges, how about one to the American people for once.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  203. Eli Maine

    Here's how u fix the problem. Throw every single republican bum out the door. But there's just 1 problem with that! The people in this country are stupid. Plain & simple. STUPID!! You cannot educate people in this country on how and who to vote for when half the population believes midget wrestling is real!!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  204. Helen Chaparro

    We need to start building our infrastructure again, our bridges highways and our land we should be ashamed that our schools are worse than other countries and our country is still back in the 80's as far as growth. If we let the presidents Jobs bill pass we will see growth and more people spending money and more people going to work.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  205. Tim ..Toronto


    The hatred (there is no other word) that the Republicans have for Obama will keep them the party of "no". Your only solution is go to a three party system if you actually want to get things accomplished and move out of the paralysis you find yourselves in. The republican party is already clearly divided....so splitting the party up wouldn't be a great leap

    September 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  206. Jon, Kilmarnock,Virginia

    Jack, Regarding Compromising: It depends on what you are compromising. If you compromise on how much money a program gets in the budget, no problem. If you compromise your principles and beliefs, you are a loser.
    The political left have lost their principles. Don't lay it on the Tea Party for standing firm on their basic fundamental principles.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  207. Ram

    Answer is congressional districts have to be made more competitive and not carved based on making them safe districts. That way senators and congress men are elected are moderate to big in with.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  208. Velicia Verneuille Jewell

    Develop third party candidates who can get the conversation off of politics and back on to real solutions to the issues that matter to the American people.

    The Republican and Democratic parties have out-stayed their usefulness in American politics. They now serve to polarize Congress to the point where absolutely nothing gets done, while the country crashes and burns outside the halls of Congress.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  209. Nick G. Nieto

    Term limits: 3 for the House and/or 1 for the Senate, thus either or, not both one after the other. This equates to 6 years of public service.
    End career Politicians "easy street paydays" and make them seek gainful employment like the rest of the unemployed Americans in our great but underemployed Nation!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  210. Rick

    Jack, enough is enough! We've seen these disingenous, dangerous and lack luster snake oil salesmen bring our country to the edge of ruin...and they still don't get it... they cling to these two diametrically opposed party lines because it is easier to follow the herd than to think...this herd is headed right into the meat packing plant...Jack we need to throw the bums out before the hammer falls...right between our eyes!!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  211. chris h

    oh yes oh gov is def broken they havent fixed any thing rather make it worse or just do a patch for some one else to fix when its a terminal problem so here is my solution fire every one in washington, go in and grab teachers and farmers people that work min wage jobs or people that are actully out there serching for a job every day for a yr or two strait put some people in there that have had to live on a budget people that have had to live paycheck to paycheck and spend there days working together to try to simply pay there bills instead of people that have no idea what hardship is people that have never lived on a meger salary.
    wenatchee, washington

    September 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  212. Gordon

    Six year term limits on all federal office including the Supreme Court and only federal funding of campaigns.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  213. Bill in Austin

    Gerrymandered districts give congressmen hope of re-election only if they play to their base, America be damned. Set a limit on ridiculously shaped districts that don't pass the laugh test.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  214. Robert Pike, Homestead Fl

    Could it be that we only hear about discontent because of the high speed of communication technology today? It seems a short time ago, if you wanted to protest a political point of view, it was by "snail" mail or by phone calls. Email and postings like this one let anyone vent to their hearts' content...often as a "knee jerk" reaction. Maybe our government's not so bad after all; but a lot of us find it a lot easier to complain about it these days...

    September 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  215. Darrell

    The answer is for the electorate to start voting with their minds and not their guts. They voted for Bush in 2004 because they were afraid, they voted for Obama in 2008 because it made them feel good, and they voted for Tea Party Republicans last year because they were angry about the economy. If the government seems incoherent and inconsistent, it's because that's precisely the message the electorate have been sending to them. Despite what President Obama says, the American people did, in fact, vote for dysfunctional government.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  216. Hank Corbett

    Our Constitution is sound. But, when it was written, the founding fathers could not imagine how it could be manipulated. Redistricting occurs every ten years after the census. The controlling political party in each state can manipulate the system such that the controlling political party has great leverage in future elections. Texas became famous for their system under Tom Delay. It is this system that will ensure that future representatives will be highly polarized and will take this country for a ride of anger, and intollerance until we implode. The media, yes, you guys, need to start making an issue of re-districting because most people do not know much about it.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  217. Darrell in New Orleans, LA

    The answer is for the electorate to start voting with their minds and not their guts. They voted for Bush in 2004 because they were afraid, they voted for Obama in 2008 because it made them feel good, and they voted for Tea Party Republicans last year because they were angry about the economy. If the government seems incoherent and inconsistent, it's because that's precisely the message the electorate have been sending to them. Despite what President Obama says, the American people did, in fact, vote for dysfunctional government.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  218. Ken in NC

    Bring back Bill Clinton and the 90's.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  219. Helen Chaparro

    CNN's keeping them honest has caught the Republican candidates in so many false statements how can anyone vote for them, they are all stuck on no new taxes and smaller government but I have not heard a word about how they are going to fix anything. The things they said they wanted this president has tried to pass and they then don't vote for them either. I guess they just want this president out and anyone in with or without some good solid solutions to all our problems.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  220. Val

    There are many things wrong with the government. Enacting term limits may help turn around the whole mindset of politicians constantly worrying about their support base to keep the money coming into their campaigns to stay in office. Also America is broken. We ALL need to change our attitudes, such as put a higher value on an education and intelligence and keep religion and government separated. I could go on and on here, and much has been covered, but in a nutshell, all of us need to take a good look at ourselves.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  221. Bill

    Get rid of the party affiliation. No democrats, repuplicanss Independants and so on. Run on your policy and beliefs not as part of any party. Party affiliation is only leading to a more stalemates trying to get anything done. If one party comes up with an idea the other automatically is against it. can't have the other party look good. Get rid of them all. Vote new ones in that haven't learned how to bilk the system.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  222. Maryann Manzi in Berlin, CT

    The government and the Red Sox continue to disappoint me. Today, someone asked me if I wanted the Red Sox to win tonight. I said no, just let this entire season end and start over. I would apply that same philosophy to the government. Start over. The longest a democracy has ever lasted has been 200 years so we are well past that and isn't it becoming increasingly obvious that we are on our way out as well? Start over!! Wait till next year!!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  223. chris bolger

    Big problems require big answers. From what I see it there are two things going on, too much power being concentrated and instituitionalized into too few people and the two party system so entrenched that other parties have a hard time getting a voice. For the first issue the obvious answer is smaller government. However, this is not possible in a modern world with modern problems that can only be addressed by large bureaurcratic institutions. The Constitution has the answer, balance of power. Maybe we need more congressmen to represent smaller districts to represent the local populace better.

    For the seconde issue, an enctrenched two party system with career politicians we need no less than a second constitutional convention. One that would add a few new amendments. Now according to the Constitution amendments can be proposed by conventions at the local level independent of the Congress and state legislatures and then voted on by state legisilatures totally bypassing the national Congress. If enough states ratify the amendments, it becomes part of the Constitution. What would these amendments be:
    1. Term limits for congressmen, maybe justices as well.
    2. A complete ban on all lobbying, including money and gifts of any kind.
    3. Public Funded elections with a defined election season not be exceeded of a few weeks or months.
    4. A consitent and fair way, universal across all states on getting people and parties, not just Democrats and Republicans on the ballet.
    5. A consistent and fair way of redistricting.

    This would take the money out of Washington and get back to a fair voice for each vote, get rid of career politicians, and make it easier for new ideas, parties and people to get elected. Hmm, more democracy, what a radical idea.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  224. Adrian

    Revolution! It is the clear answer for this question. The divide will continue to become greater as the real economic toll begins to take place. Let's not fool ourselves. The austerity measures that the governments will go through in combination with the ever growing debts being accumulated will further reduce economic output. Bailouts of debt ridden countries are only putting off the inevitable. Don't think things are so rosy up here in Canada.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  225. Ed in Florida

    Is this so much worse than the North vs the South? Lincoln managed to save the union last time I looked and the Southern economy eventually prospered after loosing a war and having their economic system completely changed..

    We need a great leader [from in front not behind] that can define the problems, propose a believable path [not hope and change] and a population that gets involved and is willing that willing to vote out those who fail to do the job. Zero tollerance for corruption. We need a press that does it's job reporting what is happening without opinions and idology getting in the way. I never knew or suspected Cronkite was a liberal. Now it is hard to find neutral news organizations and reporting.

    It may take a decade or two, but it can be done.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  226. Ed Truncale

    The only answer is a third party. A party for the 50% of us that are in the middle. I already have the party name, The Common Sense Party. Thomas Payne wrote Common Sense to express his feeling towards a tyrannical king that thought he was chosen by God. The way our Congress is acting they must think the same about themselves. They have completely forgotten who chose them and why they are there. To ensure my life, liberty and happiness. One for three is only good in baseball. At least we still have the liberty to speak our piece. These truely are "the times that try men's souls".

    September 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  227. DON

    Very simple Jack, get rid of them all and start anew!!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  228. Leroy Johnbson

    Let's reduce the time period that office seekers can campaign so there's more time to do the coubtry's business. Also, term limits would be in line with the time our founding fathers had in mind. Today's office holders have become lifetime job holders who are at the public trough to become mi(b)llionaires who don't seek solutions.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  229. Bill Jenkins

    Hey Jack,
    Let our politicians talk to themselves about all the things they will never act on. Each time political groups ask for money they are affirming that money is democracy. One simple act that you can take is to commit to never sending money to any political group. The rich and powerful will out spend you anyway but they can’t out vote you. 2 steps both required: Don’t send money and VOTE!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  230. John Walzak

    There will be no end to this politcal mess for a long time. Solution: Dont rely on your Government for ANYTHING. Americans have to stop this "what can my gov. do for me today".
    Dont count on health care, social security, or any govt program to "aid" you in any way. All the programs are broke and bankrupt, nothing can be done but to CUT.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  231. lulu

    It may be hard to take, but we have only ourselves to blame. Americans have become apathetic. We are all too busy to participate in our government and usually let everyone else that has time to attend to keeping an eye on those we have elected. We have sat and watched our governing body pass laws that not only favor the biggest of corporations, but also have decreased our own liberties and freedom. We need to act and we need to act quickly by getting involved or before we know it we will not have any rights or freedoms left and the only ones that will have any rights will be big government telling us what we can and can't do. Term limits need to be imposed immediately and they need to abide by the same benefit structure that the rest of us depend on. Only then, will the very people that are supposed to be serving us understand that they are not above us, but with us.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  232. Walter McLendon

    Jack we just simply need to get rid of the 2 party system in politics. We do not split up into two different groups to plan or solve problems in schools, clubs or at work, We just discuss and decide what to do best. Congress needs one gun toting day to solve their differences and then we can elect new people who are not millionaires or politiclly right to replace them.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm |


    For years when I heard anyone mention term limitations I boldly stated "thats crazy" if they arn't doing the job, don't reelect them. I have changed my mind. Most politicians know what needs to be done but they worry more about reelection. Answer: Two term limit with staggered terms, no retirement. This would likely cut down on most of the "lobbiests" as well. Get elected...Get R Done...Get out.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  234. JLC

    we need to throw these charlatans out and replace them with the sorts of people who don't view level-headedness and the willingness to compromise as signs of weakness.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  235. Harold from West Monroe, Louisiana

    Compromise is a start; our current House of Representatives is so "anti-Obama" that accomplishing any viable change is impossible.
    Compromise is inherent in the U.S. Constitution...the famed "checks-and-balances" was intended to prevent extremism.
    I wish the "Tea Party" crowd studied our history comprehensively rather than trying to pick out anecdotes just to support its dogma.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  236. Jason

    Vote anti-incumbent.

    We need a fresh set of liars. We need people who do not have connections in Washington. We need a fresh congress where none of the members know where the bathrooms are in the Capital building. It's not the system that's broken – it's the players.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  237. Fred Clinton Corners,N.Y.

    Start with voting out every current member of congress. Every Senator and every Representative. Start electing the common people who know what it'e like to just scrape by. We pay the members of congress. They vote themselves raises, better medical plans and pensions, and we pay. They have absolutely no insentive to do whats right for the people. Ony when they line their pockets are they happy.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  238. brian

    here is athought why dont we the people ( the lower middleclass, u know the pipe workers , the policeman , the wiatress ,etc) elect people to congress that are more like us that feel the pain haveing ur phone service interupted because u had to pay the dentist for ur wife tooth that absest due to the fact u cant afford dental insurance or wondering from week to week what would happen if ur car breaks down and u only have 100 dollars in ur savings account . This is stuff every day people worry about, and the people that should b helping the majority of the country r bailing out big banks or cutting tax rate for the filthy rich . They should b looking behind them because there is a storm a brewing and it is called the american people. I will vote for someone who is jobless to represent me in congress i gaurantee u he or she will get some jobs in this country

    September 28, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  239. Andrew Stegall

    Everyone who wants to work together should ditch the parties and become Independents. I did long ago. The parties would weaken and have to do better to earn back members.

    Chattanooga, TN. (Correction to previous post)

    September 28, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  240. CJ in Alabama

    Jack , there is no answer , I have gone from centrist/moderate to all out liberal due ot the hatred I have heard and seen living in the south.When the diesire to see our president fail becomes your main objective regardless of hurting the country and its people, this is too much of a diviision to be able to bridge. You cannot reason with the unreasonable. I have watched at this president reached out time after time and only to be kicked and laughed at from extremists called the tea party. This current group in congress is a a spoiled bunch that makes me cringe when I hear them defend their views instead of standing up for all... I hope many now see the grass is not always greener! Us normal thinkers will finally protest at some point. I know I have become more involved myself with letters and donations and the madder I get the more I do!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  241. Elke H.

    pay them 30,000.00 annually and not a penny more and see how many will run for the congress. These people couldn't make it in the private sector, just look at the genius from Arizona. Just because his father was VP at one time, that is why the tea party elected him. It is disgusting! When will our population wake up???

    September 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  242. Fred Clinton Corners,N.Y.

    Start with voting out every current member of congress. Every Senator and every Representative. Start electing the common people who know what it'e like to just scrape by. We pay the members of congress. They vote themselves raises, better medical plans and pensions, and we pay. They have absolutely no insentive to do whats right for the people. Ony when they line their pockets are they happy

    September 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  243. Dee in New Paris OHIO

    I think maybe the answer is an "American Spring".

    Maybe total adjustment is the answer. Maybe total redistribution of wealth is the answer. Clearly what we have now is not working. My concern is, unlike the mid-East countries that are re-defining their way, in america everyone and his brother has a gun. It could get very nasty.A

    September 28, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  244. Jeffery Little

    Jack, Those guys in Washington need to stop farting around because I would love to recall their arrrse.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  245. Al-kc

    Jack if you get rid of this bunch of republicans and elect some with common sense the problem will be solved.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  246. Tom in Hoffman Estates, IL

    "....Before we attempt a proposing any lasting solution, we MUST, as a people, clearly admit to the root cause of this evil that ARE the governing parties as they exist today."

    Corporate America and special interests groups for the past fifty-years, and the evil decay of our moral viber they as masquerade as "opportunism", dictate to those they OWN in congress how this country has moved forward.

    The answer: "Only God knows."

    Don't take the answer lightly.

    No matter what God and religion you may subscribe to, along with the founding and common principles of goodness they share incommon... needs to bring us, as a more enlightened country, back to the simple basics of "Loving your neighbor as yourself."

    It's that easy.

    If we ALL did our part, and with this one commandment in mind, there would be no greed, no need for violence, no fmaine, no wars, no poverty, no tears.

    We'd be "sharing" as a country again... and ideally, as a world.

    What's the first step?


    Just that simple.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  247. Donaldo in ATL

    Term limits for all Congressmen & Senators. Public funding of elections, a cap on how much anyone can spend, finally removal of all lobbyists from contacting officials under penalty of jail. This would be a good start.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  248. Kirk Bailey

    1. Prohibit lobbys from wining, dining, and donating.
    2. Term limitations.
    3. Prohibit PAC's from donating money.
    3. Prohibit large donations to parties by lobbies, corps, and organizing people in firms sending in money- which was provided by the firm- to select causes.
    4. This one's a screamed: Stop them from spending money on their campaigns; everyone that qualifies to run gets the same amount given to them by the government.
    5. establish a lottery. Issue a politicians license to anyone that wants one. Every year, draw some numbers at total random, double blind drawing, prehaps 1% of the licencees. Shoot them dead. This ought to discourage wanting to go into this disgusting profession.
    6. it is hypocratical that our nation prohibits prostitutions, but let's these whores run loose, unrestrained, unrestricted, unlicensed. With trivial modification to the verbage, restrict them with the same sort of laws that currently restrict people from selling 'favor' of the personal sort in almost all the states. Note, STATES; there is no FEDERAL law against being a whore. What an amazing coincidence...


    September 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  249. KVK

    It's up to the American people Jack. We all need to realize that BOTH party's are to blame for everything that's failing in our country, and we have to stop believing everything we read and hear through the mainstream media. As long as we keep electing the world elites hand-picked, pro-establishment candidates, we are doomed as a nation. If we all believe that America can't fall, then we believe we're living in a fairy-tale. Remember, America is only an experiment, and never was guaranteed to last forever. I highly suggest we all get educated on the behind-the-door actions of our government officials, and the effects those actions cause. We need to elect someone that has the education and many years of a proven record that shows they know how to fix the main issues that effect the entire nation. Elect someone we know that is actually "For The People". Overall, we have to actually hold our officials accountable for a change, no matter what it takes to do it. Again, no matter what it takes. GO RON PAUL!!!!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  250. William Gibson

    The fix for our government is relativity easy. We need to remove the present leaders from office, and how do we do that you might ask. All that “we the citizens” need do is to let the politicians continue with their present shenanigans. Then as the country burns, we sit back and watch as they play their violins and sing their swan song! When our privileged, self-centered, narcissistic politicians are finished leading the country into shambles, we the people start over with new leaders if there is anything left.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  251. Don McPhail

    As a Canadian I can tell you it's these ridiculously long campaigns you have. Limit them to six weeks and the acrimony that exists today will disappear. The other thing you could do is get religion out of politics. I can’t help but think the Republicans are becoming the Taliban party of North America

    September 28, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  252. chuck

    Referees' Jack. Washington can't police itself! Someone has to call foul, and hold are politicians accountable for thier actions.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  253. Matt in Atlanta

    Jack, I don't think there is anything that we as a nation can do to force our leadership to seek the common good at this point. I think that the problem is that we no longer identify our fellow citizens as Americans, we identify them as being on the left or the right – as liberals or conservatives. I think the problem, quite simply, is that we lack a common enemy to focus our aggression toward, and as a result we have started bickering amongst ourselves. Unfortunately, until someone gives us an outlet for our aggression, and a common purpose to work toward, I don't see these problems getting any better.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  254. irene

    Jack it is a good thing the government is divided right now, those greedy republicans would get everything and end up getting strung up by millions of average people who have been robbed of the ability to make a decent living. The Democrats have protected as much as they could for the average middle class, children, elderly, disabled, and the poor. If the Democrats compromise the Republicans will take whats left and give it to the rich!

    This would cause a bloody civil war if the republicans take anymore. The Democrats should not compromise with the Republicans. The next election will get rid of the greedy republicans. Just look at what republicans are doing to states like Wisconsin, Ohio, New Jersey, Iowa, and most Southern states contolled by republican governors. The people of those states have had it with robbing the average workers rights and benefits, and the layoff of public workers just to give tax breaks to the rich.

    There is a major Democrat revolt already secretly evolving, where it started in Wisconsin, and on Wall Street where there has been big protests. But it will get bloody quickly since there is millions of poor people that have joined the alliance and will not take any more abuse. They will start gathering in millions and take down the greedy republicans. Join the Democratic uprising or be one of the soon to be outcasts of the U.S. A.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  255. cal usa

    Those who think more political parties would help are delusional. To begin with, those can only function in a parliamentary system. How do you have a President who is a member of a coalition? Countries that thave multiple parties are much less stable, since any dispute can resut in breaking up a coalition and bringing down the government (Italy, Israel). Further, until the voters stop rewarding single issue no compromise candidates (like the Tea Partiers) we will stay polarized. Compromise is essential in a democracy; the alternative is dictatorship.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  256. marybeth, massachusetts


    We've become like the Middle East–all fighting, all of the time. No one wants to work or live with anyone who doesn't look, think, or pray exactly like him. Congress no longer represents the people in general but a maybe they represent a few very very wealthy people and they obviously represent big corporations and big business, that is, they represent those who gave them the most money for their campaigns. And we the people carry some blame too. Many people don't vote, or they don't vote in the primaries only in the general elections. The primaries determine who gets to the general election, and if moderates don't vote in the primaries, then the wingnuts vote to ensure that their even nuttier candidate gets the nomination and the rest of us are horrified.

    There must be a lot of Americans who like the radical wingnuts because they elected them. If you voted for the Tea Party and for crazy Michelle Bachmann, for let them die Ron Paul, for my sole purpose on earth is to make sure Obama is a one-term president McConnell, and for anyone else (Cantor, Ryan, and others) who want to annihilate the middle class and give every last penny to the top 2% and every tax break possible and create more tax loopholes for big business at the expense of the middle class, then you are getting what you deserved. I didn't vote for them, but obviously enough of you believe that this is the way this country should be–a feudal state, a plutarchy, a country controlled by a small number of wealthy corporations and the rest living in poverty, with no gov't at all.

    Time for a revolution....

    September 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  257. David from Cali

    Some CNN contributors actually hit it right on the head the last few days when they stated that the gridlock and lack of will to compromise is a complete reflection on the voters. The solution is an informed public. As long as the majority of voters make moronic decisions at the polls based on little, if any, actual research and real calculated thought behind their decisions, we will continue to elect enough morons to make sure this system remains fundamentally flawed to a laughable level.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  258. Debbie from CA

    The experiment in a democratic republic has failed. We are way passed divided. America will either: become a corporate plutocray, fall as in Greece/Rome and become the new territory of China, or the people will revolt. While our corporations and congress seek more power/$$ the institution has died. They will reap what they have sowed. The love of $$ is the root of all evil and it has entered and killed the USA.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  259. Tony in Ohio

    Jack,the people in congress should lead by example and take a 50% PAY CUT effective TODAY until they can play fair and nicely with OUR JOBS and OUR MONEY. If they cannot play fair with others, then they should find another sandbox in which to play. After all that's what we would tell the children!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:56 pm |