People get angry at something they see on TV or read in the newspaper. Maybe they even write a letter or show up to a meeting. When the issue is decided one way or the other, these people go back to their usual routine. In other words, people only get involved in politics when it directly affects them.
This phenomenon is known as the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) effect and it has taken young minds by storm of late. Lehigh’s campus provides no shortage of examples.