Your observations are spot on. I don't have the perfect solution. However, the public needs to have this conversation regardless of party. The polls show overwhelming numbers (both parties) do not trust Congress and agree the country is heading in the right direction. If we simply talk about the instant case, we don't get to the problem which is the Career Politician.
I say, we need more politically active people that are willing to speak their version of the truth and be willing to take the heat. I've done that and have lost friends (don't care). Too many want to play it safe and simply complain.
Lastly, as you stated, people don't hear the truth. It will be disruptive for them and may evoke strong emotion. However, the idea will be stuck in their brain. It won't go away!