We begin the 2010 election season just as 2008 ended: a deeply divided country suffering from a loss of hope and a loss of confidence in the leaders and institutions that govern us. That was until an off-year election in Massachusetts shocked the nation and rocked Washington. But the greatest gap in hope and confidence is not between Republicans and Democrats. It resides between the American people and their elected leaders.

As people at the top get bailouts and people at the bottom get handouts, most folks in the middle are left wondering… when will they remember me? As the economy continues to languish in strangulation and public debt piles higher than three generations of Americans could ever surmount, Americans are questioning…. were the trillions of dollars we borrowed and spent really worth it? The answer, according to virtually every poll on the topic, is decidedly NO.

The crisis in confidence results from lofty promises and, so far, meager results. Both parties are culpable and so neither is trusted. For those of you who enjoy pop culture references, it’s a race to the bottom, much like Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber.

So who benefits on Election Day from this collapse in confidence? You might expect us to say the Republican Party, but the answer is more complicated and less clear cut than the polls would indicate.

A more accurate response is that we really don’t know. The party that first realizes the American people just want to be leveled with – rather than bedazzled – will be the first out of the gate and across the finish line. No more promises that everyone will benefit and no one will have to pay. No more big bank bailouts while the rest of America is shut-out. We are all in this together. The only question is: when will Washington roll up its sleeves and start helping, rather than hurting? Read entire article.

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