Spoiler for My friend on the current state of American society:
I don't think Fat Fibs are a sign of any new catastrophe. They express the contradiction between the ideal of an Enlightened republic and the realities of the social and economic system: that has always been there and just becomes more obvious in times of crisis, as it must. And when you think of the forms of social power which have expressed that contradiction in the past, like slavery, you're reminded of the immense battles fought and won by the American people.
So no, don't lose faith in the American people. Realise that, if they think 'politics' in the limited sense endorsed by the media establishment is so much song and dance, they're perfectly right. Organise and educate them to take an active part in politics in its broadest sense.
I have faith in the immortal principle of the American revolution: that the people can throw out a government and create their own, by their own action, in their own interests.