Becoming an educated citizen, takes a long time. Your frame of reference must be large. Your beliefs must be well earned, not just latched on to on a whim. In an article in the local paper, Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post writer, explains, "Our huge national pride which often strikes others as arrogance--rests on economic accomplishments and even more on what scholars call the American Creed: the faith in freedom; the rule of law; equal opportunity; and democratic ideas and political institutions. What defines us (and this differs from most societies) is not ethnicity, race or religion but our bedrock beliefs." (AZ Rep Jul 4, 2011, page B7)
Because our society is so vast, well-educated and ever diligent watching over the government activities, people have tended to move in two basic directions.
Conservatives: "those people who respect existing institutions and traditions that anchor the social order, to them, Change--especially radical change is a last resort, not because today's world is perfect, but because efforts to improve it might make it worse."
What has occured in current politics is the Republican party, the Conservatives, have been endowed by their followers with enough money to legislate, to use their weight in select committees to tip the balance of "tax breaks to their followers, thus the wealthy few are making most of the money, while the remainder are slipping further and further behind in economics.
Liberals: (Reactionaries), "those that desire a return to an earlier system, or order." This is the view of the normal citizen. " They have more confidence in a large government to enhance social justice." "They defend virtually all Social Security and Medicare benefits. Everything can be financed, they suggest by cutting defense or increasing taxes on the rich.
I have just touched the surface about politics in America. You need to start thinking about which way you think, do you want to change? Do you want to stay the same? Are you willing to help the side that you have chosen? Will you go door-to-door to help explain those things you advocate? The only way a Democractic-Republic can change or leave things as they are is in the voting booth. Your vote is very important, but can you convince others to vote the way you support? It takes "bedrock beliefs" to convince people to your way of thinking.