These Are Dangerous Times in America
People are ready to boil over, and their leaders are detached
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2010 12:37 PM CDT
Protesters join hands as police block the street in Phoenix on Thursday, July 29, 2010 during a rally against Arizona's new immigration law, SB1070.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

(Newser) – There's trouble brewing, warns Peggy Noonan. She's never seen such a wide gulf between the nation's political leaders and ordinary folk. People are genuinely scared—"the biggest political change in my lifetime is that Americans no longer assume that their children will have it better than they did"—but our leaders "don't seem to know or have a sense of the mood of the country," she writes in the Wall Street Journal.

"And so they make their moves, manipulate this issue and that, and keep things at a high boil." Arizona's immigration debate is but one example. "When the adults of a great nation feel long-term pessimism, it only makes matters worse when those in authority take actions that reveal their detachment from the concerns—even from the essential nature—of their fellow citizens. And it makes those citizens feel powerless. Inner pessimism and powerlessness: That is a dangerous combination."