Second thoughts on my last post. While there is no measure of consent of government, there really is not much evidence there is lack of consent.
Largely the nation is law-abiding, probably even exceptionally so when compared to other nations.
There really is not much difference between the two parties that collectively represent a super-majority. Most of the population votes for one or the other party during most elections. The significant number who do not vote are probably uninterested in politics because they are content with the current state of government that neither party is likely to change in any significant way.
One side avoids addressing spending cuts but instead focuses on tax increases on sectors that will not significantly raise revenues: they are against raising taxes on middle-class where meaningful revenue increase is possible.
The other side avoids any tax increases by focusing on spending cuts but can not identify anything to cut and instead proposes cut in growth in spending. The savings is measured over 10 years by comparing with the spending that would have occurred if it grew even faster. Most of the savings occurs in the later years of that period with plenty of time to restore the cuts by later legislation.
Because there is so little difference, there is a theater of exaggerated politics mostly to keep people interested in their identified party or political leaning.
We have had some protests.
The occupy wall street protests were long lasting but generally not disruptive. They had some support and encouragement but it didn’t disrupt anything. Few people lost work to join the protests. They’re demand was higher taxes on a tiny population (the 1%) that would do very little to increase revenue.
The counter-government protests on the conservative side under the name of tea party had large protests that disbanded in a day. For the most part these protesters consist of older and wealthier people who were eager to return to enjoying the benefits of their jobs or retirements. They wanted to cut spending but can not identify anything specifically that would make much of a difference.
Earlier there were some anarchist demonstrations that were more disruptive and destructive. Instead of any outpouring of support for their causes, there was strong support for policing to shut down the protests.
People are concerned about spending but not so much that they want to cut anything. People are concerned about revenues but not enough to actually increase the revenues.
That leaves only the problem of the debt, the transfer of the problem to a future generation. The disruption will occur when investors stop buying debt or demanding more interest. The likeliest trigger for problems is a debt crisis. Both parties dismiss the debt as an issue so this is not a political issue until the debt buyers disappear. Coincidentally, the relative stability of this country compared to other countries continues to make our debt attractive investments. A debt crisis is not very likely either.
No evidence to justify my pessimism.