Found an interesting Pew poll on how Americans view their government. Approval of government has been up and down twice since Jimmy Carter ran it to the bottom. Reagan brought it up and Bush I brought it down again, with a spike for the Dessert Storm. Then Clinton brought it up and Bush II brought it down, with a spike for 9/11, to where it is now. Obama, or is the financial crisis and its management, have not raised it. At least not yet.
What is striking, however, is that quite a few, one in four would not mind if a state wanted to secede. There is a tendency that this willingness has increased lately.
Prior to Carter the approval of government came down from the heights of Kennedy. It stayed down with the above mentioned fluctuations. Was it the Vietnam War or was it something else?
I think it was the same thing that reveresed the dream of a United States of Europe.