People on both the Left and the right frequently misunderstand the nature of power. The problem is not with individuals, but with the system.
Power attained and wielded with contempt begs for usurpation. In terms of what occurred at the DC capitol I think these people walked into a trap set up to villify them and Conservatives even more. That said, I do believe that peaceful mass protests by Conservatives should and must occur to shift the balance of assumed power. Focus our message on what we believe, how we can grow a consensus and together impact governance Gandhi and MLK style. I do believe the progressives don't think we have it in us to standup to them en masse. The question is do we the people believe we can and should?
George Washington said political parties would be the ruination of the United States. He was right.
Money is the root of most if not all evil, because of the lengths people will go to in order to get more of it.
The 'cool kid' syndrome, as you describe it, is why Jefferson designed voting to only be done by land owning men. I know that system won't work anymore, but that's why it was originally designed that way. If you have fewer voters, you will have EDIT:more/EDIT of a sense that your voice will matter and that you don't have to go along with the way the wind blows. Now, if 70 million people are voting for a candidate that you marginally agree with, and 70 million people are voting for a candidate you marginally disagree with, and 8 people are voting for a candidate you agree 90% with, who are you going to vote for? You're going to go along with the first crowd and be 'popular'. That's not a good reason to have a vote.