Monday, October 03, 2016
Where Is America Going?
So, just what do Americans think of America? According to a Pew Research Poll from June of 2014, a slight majority of Americans, 49%, thought our best days are behind while 44% thought we still have good days ahead of us. Not surprisingly, those who believed our best days were in the rear view mirror were mostly conservatives; specifically 76% of Far Right conservatives. Among business conservatives, it was 59%. Among the remnant of the Middle Class, either those slightly Left or Right of Center, approximately 60% were pessimistic about the future. Where we saw a switch was among the Left such as the Millennials, where 65% were optimistic about the future. Among the Left, Religious Left and Far Left, that number ranged from 50% to 70%. Is this simply youthful idealism or the cynical perspective that often comes with age? Remember, many, if not most, of those on the Right who responded were once the wild eyed youth of the 50's, 60's and 70's.
Nevertheless, this got me to wondering what Americans thought of the current political situation. It's no big secret that Americans across the political spectrum believe the political system is broken beyond repair. Even with the slanted news coming from the corporate media, we know that the political system is blatantly rigged and that both of the two major political parties, along with media, is bought and paid for by the corporate and financial elites; we are a de facto corporate Oligarchy after all. We routinely see the mask of legitimacy dropped on both sides without apology. Both of the two selected presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, are without question the worse candidates we have seen in decades if not ever. We've got from scraping the bottom of the barrel to scraping underneath the barrel. The majority of Americans strongly dislike either "choice", and yet both corporate parties and their media counterparts have worked hard to exclude, ignore, and belittle any other candidates and/or their political parties.
Voters today are clearly dissatisfied with both corporate party nominees, and for that matter, with Congress and the Supreme Court. Approval ratings for all branches of the government have been setting new lows for years (according to a 2016 Rasmussen survey, Congress has a 11% approval rating compared to 86% who give Congress a failing grade). The majority of Americans have come to accept that the system that we once knew is gone and not likely to return anytime soon. About two years ago, a prominent academic study revealed what most of us already knew, that the government bequest to us by our Founding Fathers had been squandered away, mainly by its beneficiaries and guardians---us. In its place is an Oligarchy comprised of a corporate and financial elite. We have witnessed a two tiered economic and judicial system, open and very public abuse of the system and corruption, and use of our military for the economic benefit of a tiny few, increased surveillance, rigged voting, militarization of the police, manipulation of the news and public opinion, manufactured protests and riots, and so forth.
Pew Research Center: Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology
Americans' Desire for Third Party Persists This Election Year
Rasmussen Reports: Congressional Performance