I think it is you who are misunderstanding. That glass wall that you perceive as preventing you from making a difference does not exist. I know very well the feeling that it does but, it doesn’t. You can make a difference. In your neighborhood, town, county and by that make a differenc in the world. Believe it or not the person you elect dog catcher affects peoples lives. I know it sounds corny but, cliches are born of truth. The person you help get elected County Sheriff will affect your life more than the Pres. ever will.
Your arguments while intelligent and well written come across as an effort to explain and justify why you feel that you are entitled to all of the benefits of citizenship without standing up and fulfilling your civic duties and your responsibility to control government.
I don’t think that is really the case. I think you just haven’t lived long enough to realize that the “they” that you blame for screwing the world up is actually “we”and apathy is one of the tools "we" use to do it.
You vote someone in as dog catcher, and he goes about doing his job and making sure your neighborhood/city is free of stray dogs. Now if you voted the other guy in for the job, he'd be doing it, or the other guy for the job, he'd be doing it, or that woman across the street, she'd be doing it. Your vote to get him in didn't matter, he's 1 guy out of a bunch of people who could be doing the job, and they'd all be having the same exact job/limitations (and bribes, in this case). Your vote didn't matter, you got the guy you "like" in there doing the job, but he's not doing anything more than the other person you would have voted in.
You don't have to look far to see who "they" are that run this country. They are big business interest and large corporations that lobby for the majority of laws/bills/acts that we have. We have an act going through right now that has the possibility of shutting down YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc, and the only reason this act is being even discussed is because the movie industry wants it done, and they bribed congress to get the act through before we even knew what was going on. This act is big news and is being discussed all over the place, it's a very shady (nothing new) act of the government taking bribes from big business to push through the laws they personally want.
The act they are tying to pass (Protect IP), will shut down a large, fresh, new business industry on the internet. Video/information websites that have produced tons of cash flow and job interest, are going to be shut down by this act. This act will kill a fresh, new, rising business industry. Isn't the government supposed to be creating new jobs, not destroying them? Which is the point, it doesn't matter what the government is "supposed" to do, what matters is big business lobbyists bribing them to pass laws that they want for personal greed, even if it damages an upcoming, fresh business industry for people to make money/get jobs/start small businesses.
You can vote and I'm sure it might feel good to have a feeling like your vote matters and that you're making a difference, this is why many people vote. However, the wall is right in front of you and you don't have to throw a rock very far before the rock hits it.
As for my age, there are people much older than I that share the same views. It's just about what you see and what you don't.