Solutions – that's the tough part. We're on, hopefully, the tail end of a deep recession. We've been living beyond our means and there is a sense that not all of our politicians have been stand-up guys and gals.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/23/costello.mah.art.jpg caption="A protester wears an American Revolution-era flag and an Obama picture during the Tea Party Express rally on September 12, 2009 in Washington, DC."]
So what IS the fix?
"We ought to fire all the politicians and get new ones," says Pennsylvania Republican Chris Wesling.
Distrust in politicians is in our DNA. But today, says Republican consultant Rich Galen, things are different. “Now you've got an entire population, on the entire continuum, from left to right, including that gigantic center that looks across the political landscape and sees nobody that they like, nobody that they trust and nobody frankly that they want to follow."
Still, at the Latrobe/Gateway football game in western Pennsylvania, there were some still willing to give politicians a chance. The president, after all, has a 55 percent approval rating. The fix for some – is Mr. Obama.
"He's swimming against the current, you know, and he's got a lot of energy and he's got a lot of a battle," says Stanley Zimmerman, an independent. At the Community of Reconciliation Church in Pittsburgh, the fix is about hope too – and about redirecting our moral compass.
"There's no question in my mind the moral authority in this country is capitalism and narcissism," says Pastor Denise Mason, a Democrat. "It’s me and how much. ... That's the basis upon which most of us make our decisions."
Dolan Vogle, a Republican, shares the same sentiment. "It's a very me, me, me attitude," she says. "I'm at fault because I give to my kids all the time."
Carl Vogle likens social harmony to a football team. "Everybody's got to pull their weight and once you do that you have a winning team. Same thing with the government and with America. Everybody works hard, we're going to get there."