Republicans and Democrats are carrying on in Washington as if the fate of the world depends upon how they resolve the partial shutdown of the federal government. But let's be honest, this is not the Cuban Missile Crisis.
A more realistic assessment of the situation suggests that the elected politicians are merely confirming the low opinion voters already have of them.
Just 27 percent of voters believe that their representative in Congress cares about what they think. Most (53 percent) believe their own representative trades votes for cash.
Moving beyond skepticism of individuals, voters tend to see the federal government as less responsive to their needs than local governments, small businesses, not-for-profit groups, state governments and large businesses. Just 16 percent trust the federal government to do the right thing most of the time. It's been nearly 50 years since most Americans trusted the federal government.