A Wall Street Journal poll reveals that only 25% of Americans think the nation is on the right track — the lowest since 2008. Two-thirds say we are on the wrong track.
As always, the economy is the main concern. But we are five years into a recovery. That is what we are told. So, where is the optimism?
Foreign policy? Drift. Immigration? Drift. Economy? Stagnant wages. Congress? Gridlock. Federal deficit? It is still reported at $500 billion a year, five years into the recovery. This is hailed by Keynesians as a major victory.
Then there are ISIS and Ebola. What happened to safety? Where is there a sign of leadership?
The public schools always get worse. No one expects differently any longer. It’s only a matter of how bad they will get in your ZIP code, and how soon. Yet here is America’s only tax-funded church, with its own self-screening priesthood: the American Federation of Teachers.
What does the state do that is seen as a clear benefit, with better to come? This is the key phrase: “with better to come.” Nothing, i.e., not one thing.
People must have optimism regarding the future if they are to be successful in their plans. Hope is important. Any program that does not offer hope is doomed to failure.
No American politician can campaign successfully on hope any longer. Obama has ruined that as a campaign slogan. It generates this response — the familiar American response: “O, yeah?”
The voters do not know what they want, not that they would get it, even if they did. They are allowed only this option: “Throw the bums out!” With what effect? To be replaced by next election’s brand-new bums.
This is not new. This is political business as usual.
Politics is all about deceiving a majority of voters about the next false hope. Once in a while, the voters figure this out. This year is such a year. It will be bad for Democrats. But nothing will change.
Where is there optimism? Wherever the state is being replaced. Homeschooling. Telecommunications. Social media. Gadgets. Here, prices are falling and quality of service is rising. Here, there is validated hope. Here, there is change for the better.
But the public still trusts the state. It is trust by default. The Progressives’ dream of better living through legislation — salvation by law — is still the central faith of the voters, but it is has not delivered a significant political victory in a generation, as far as the voters are concerned. Johnson was thrown out. Nixon was thrown out. They were the last Presidents who really believed in political salvation. They were consumed with politics, and they were consumed by politics. Their successors in the White House have been caretakers for the fading faith. The flame is dying. Nothing has replaced it.
Politically, there is no near-term hope. There is no meaningful near-term change.
There used to be long-term political hope. Where did it get us? Here.
We are always told this: “If our guys don’t win the upcoming election, it’s all over.” Does anyone still believe this? It will not be all over, win or lose. It will be political business as usual, just as it has been since 1933. We are on the back side of the New Deal, or the Big Three Roosevelts. It will be Ken Burns without the golden rhetoric. It will be the triumph of Alice Roosevelt Longworth, who had this pillow on her couch: “If you can’t say something good about someone, sit right here by me.”
Ponzi schemes always go bust. We are on the back side of two Ponzi schemes, domestic and international. The public senses this, but does not know what do do. The voters will throw a few of the bums out next month, but this will not change the economics of the Ponzi schemes.