There is a fable that is increasingly relevant today: the mighty lion that was devoured by a rat.
The lion knew itself to be big and powerful, strong and mighty. It knew from its strength that it could trample, crush and devour its enemies. When a lowly rat came up to the lion, it was not frightened; the lion saw the rat of such little consequence and ignored it. The rat bit the lion, but with the lion's fur and mass, it was more amused than frightened or concerned. As the rat tried to nibble, the lion confident in its strength to always protect itself went to sleep.
However, as the lion slept, the rat continued to nibble; canyons are not created quickly, but by the slow wear of running water. The rat nibbled past the protective fur and began to burrow inside the lion. The lion awoke surprised its strength didn't protect it. Time was short for the rat burrowed quickly, but it was painful to try and reach in and get the rat. The lion tried to talk the rat out, but whatever words were used, the rat continued to burrow. Eventually the rat went past where even if the lion tried to reach in and pull the rat out it couldn't be reached.
The rat continued to burrow to the lion's heart, and killed the lion; it then ate the lion from the inside.
Collectively, the lion is America.
Overly confident in our strength, we have opened ourselves to threats and haven't done much of anything to protect ourselves. This is true on multiple levels, but most damaging in our interventionism, on being 'sensitive' and clamping down on our own expression, and in our politics. These are greatly intertwined.
The death knell of the lion is our participation (or lack thereof) in politics and by extension, elections. The Federal Election Commission statistics show election participation ranges from mid-30s (non-presidential election years) to up to around 60% (presidential election years).
The rat is the tyranny that emerges from inaction; this is the same regardless of the issue: crackdown on free speech as not to offend (someone or State), limiting the size of drink you can purchase, the drug war, extra-congressional declarations of war, and the like. From this, we end up with a presidential election between two front-runners getting the media coverage, but have little substantive differences and those are not highlighted.
With how many vote for one of the two front-runners because those are the only seen two choices available, and with how many do not vote at all, imagine the change that could happen if we are proactive and insist upon more than just the two candidates.
It is up to us to demand the media to stop assisting the rats from devouring us and to stop the politicians' own tyrannical actions and burdening debt for there will come a point where we cannot stop the burrowing and our hearts will be devoured and the lion will be dead - we are the lion.