Amidst all the madness over Obamacare and the government shutdown comes a fascinating poll about "we the people." Beginning in 2005, the Gallup organization has asked the following question: Do you trust the American people to make good judgments about political issues?
Eight years ago, 63% of those polled said they had trust in the folks. This year that number had plummeted to just 46%.
The reason is President Obama. There is now much buyer's remorse about his reelection. All the polls show his job approval rating is below 50% and falling fast, the Syrian debacle and the Obamacare chaos adding to the general dismay about the soft economy.
The key disenchantment with the economy is that the median salary for American workers has dropped on Mr. Obama's watch. After five years, paychecks continue to be stagnant. Also, tax revenue is at an historic high. Doing the math, workers are paying more to the government and taking home less from their check.
And it is the fault of the American people that our politicians continue to let us down. Let's be honest, many of us simply don't pay attention to our country. We are too caught up in our own situations to be bothered with public policy. And it has never been easier to escape reality. High tech gizmos give individuals the power to create their own isolated worlds. Millions of Americans now spend the majority of their leisure time texting, tweeting, gaming, porning, emailing, and surfing the net.
We are facebooking, googling, blogging, flaming, spamming and downloading. We are becoming a nation of cyberspace zombies; addicted to machines that shut out real life. H.G. Wells said it would happen and it has.
Talk radio hosts call them "low information voters." Americans who don't know much about history, current events or anything else and who often vote on pure emotion. If they like somebody, he or she gets the chad. And Barack Obama is a very likeable guy.
We live in a complicated, dangerous age. Democrats have seized on the economic collapse and a bad war (Iraq) that happened on President George W. Bush's watch. They have convinced the majority of voters to embrace a new America – one that gives the federal government extraordinary power. One that runs up a record amount of debt in pursuit of social justice and "income equality."
Well, it is simply not working out. The gap between rich and poor under President Obama is getting bigger because fewer well-paying jobs are available. Corporations are being taxed to the hilt and are loathe to add more workers. Thus, salaries fall because there are more than enough applicants to fill any job vacancy.
As the Gallup Poll suggests, we are beginning to blame each other for the confusing state of this country. And, indeed, it is collectively our fault. We should be electing problem solvers – not charismatic ideologues who can whip people up into a frenzy.
But in order to make the internet cut, you have to make a flamboyant play to a specific crowd.
Not a smart crowd, a specific crowd.