The Age of iPod Politics

The niching of America makes for happy consumers and angry voters

IMAGINE THAT AMERICA IS A CAR. IN FACT--SINCE WE'RE talking about America here--imagine it's an SUV. We are packed in together, and it is a long drive. The sole thing that keeps us from bloodshed is that we have our own capacious beverage holders, business-class-size seats and entertainment pods. Dad has his satellite radio, Mom has her magazine, and the kids have their DVD consoles and MP3 players and Game Boy Advances, happily obliterating the unpleasant evidence of one another's existence.

The great American pacifier is our love of stuff and our ability to fashion our own insular worlds through our...

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