The National Mood: Can’t Get No Political Satisfaction
America’s problems are multifaceted and complex. But from the results of polls and anecdotal evidence, it is clear the nation is in crisis and the federal government is most often cited as the problem.
Gallup’s annual Mood of the Nation poll, conducted in the first week of the new year, gave a snapshot of how American citizens view the government, its efficiency, and its leadership. The results were staggering. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with how the American governmental system works. The research firm has been measuring this sentiment since 2001, and this year’s result was the highest percentage on record; dissatisfaction has increased five points from the previous high of 64 percent, which came in 2012, and the trend line for this measure has shown “remarkable change over time,” according to Gallup. Even in 2002, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the rate of dissatisfaction was lower, with just one in four individuals expressing disapproval with the U.S. system of government.
Unsurprisingly, “mentions of the government as the top problem remain higher than they were prior to the partial government shutdown in October,” Gallup noted. The government’s perceived inefficiency outstripped the economy, healthcare, low job creation, national defense, and the federal budget as the greatest problem with the United States.