It's fine to work yourself into a lather over the antics of one political subgroup but both parties are avoiding the titanic problems of America in decline. Today: the shrinking middle class. As my partner said during our dinner discussions, Americans are going to have a lower standard of living.
Though they are nothing compared to the cratering of education, the environment, and health care, two bellwethers are the steep drops in book buying and moviegoing. In 2011, North American audiences bought only 1.28 billion movie tickets, the smallest number since 1995's 1.21 billion. (It's worse, because the combined US + Canadian population has grown by 55,000,000 people.) You might say smaller box office leads to increased rentals but for millions of viewers on flat-rate plans like Netflix, more renting does not generate more money.
Even with BookScan, the adorably old-fashioned publishing industry has no idea how many books were sold in 2011. The most recent figures available end with October, when year-to-date total sales were down 18% for adult hardcovers, down 16% for adult paperbacks, and down 33% for mass market paperbacks. The 131% increase in e-book sales does not erase the physical book losses.
One thing that isn't declining in America, CEO pay rose 27% to 40%.
If you're interested in trenchant analysis of the current/coming crisis, consider Morris Berman's Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline [Kindle], Chris Hedges' Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle [Kindle], Lawrence Lessig's Republic, Lost [Kindle], or Jeffrey Maddick's Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present, among many other titles in this crowded field.