Caught some of the Beck radio show today running an errand. After what some would consider a paranoid roundup of the latest inroads of the far left he got to a point-- it's not the left or right, it's the individual to blame for America's troubles. We're falling down on the ethical/moral job.
The founders warned against our grand experiment leading to tyranny if the individual failed to uphold their end. Some predicted that only a religious public could uphold the framwork through ethics/morals, etc. But as Beck pointed out, even most atheists believe in some kind of moral responsibility to their fellow man, so it's not just an invisible sky man thing.
This is all debatable through history but there does seem to be a "change" in America. Perhaps the reason we have Chicago machine politicians running the government and lecturing everyone on how to behave....and perhaps the reason we're seeing more and more silly laws mandating things that should be obvious, like purchasing health care insurance, being careful with the fatty foods, not letting toys override parental responsibility, profiling people to determine citizenship and so on and so forth, is because individual personal responsibility has eroded to the point where the state believes it has to erode individual liberty to 'save' things.