1. The economic attempted fixes of 2008 failed, because the government bailed out failing businesses that are still in the doldrums or spent billions on green energy projects that went bankrupt. (Solyndra was only the biggest, not the only one.) So some leaders ignore economic fixes for fear of making it worse or saying we tried X, Y and Z, don't bother with anything else.
2. Fixing roads and bridges is boring and gets little attention, so it isn't a priority.
3. Affordable housing is stopped by NIMBY who say don't build more housing in our area or change zoning to allow denser construction and taller condo complexes. End result, the housing that exists costs more - and officials are beholden to voters already in the district, not all the ones who want to move there.
4. If you support the rights of the transgender (mentally ill man in dress, fewer than a quarter who had male plumbing removed) or other exotic groups, it feels like a civil rights issue with consequences you won't actually have to deal with. And it distracts from political corruption or other unpopular acts.
5. The negative effects of legal and illegal immigration are written off as racism, and many who are concerned won't address the problem for fear of the name-calling.