Recent polling shows that far more Americans believe their country is heading in the wrong direction under Obama than at any time under Bush. Currently, 23% say America is heading in the “right” direction, and 71.2% believe we are going the wrong way – a 49 point gap. The widest negative spread under Bush was 34 points in November 2007.
The historical pattern of directional polling shows the obvious self-delusion many voters held at the time that electing a radical posing as a moderate would solve the problems of the country. Two major concerns were in the minds of voters at the time of Obama’s election. First was the wars overseas, a cause of general dissatisfaction accumulated over years of negative press. Second was the rapidly tanking economy, a cause of immediate and acute stress. Obama closed the direction gap within a few months, going from a 49 point negative spread to a 9 point positive one – all without having done anything!
American voters themselves are obviously a major source of the country’s problems. While they are grossly uninformed and even willfully ignorant of the ways politicians lie and manipulate them, they publicly acknowledged that politicians and their media consorts are deceitful. Which leads one to conclude that many Americans just don’t give a damn; they don’t think politics affects them or they believe that the country will always be strong and prosperous, no matter how powerful the government, and no matter what policies it pushes.
Additionally, the directional polling refutes the contention of a new Princeton study, cited on the Rush Limbaugh show, that some dose of voter apathy is healthy for a “democracy.” The poll’s contention, as related by the UK Daily Mail, is that the uninformed are essential to a working democracy. Specifically, the study claimed that “the uninformed are essential to democracy because their apathy helps to dilute the effect of powerful minority interests – for instance, highly educated elites – who would otherwise dominate public life.”
But tellingly, the uninformed were easily misled that the election of the radical Obama, who many perceived as a moderate, would improve the situation of the country – whether in terms of ending the war or improving the economy through massive stimulus and bailouts. Then voter misconception was corrected over the course of three years that either the president was incapable of correcting the problems, or more accurately, was ideologically and politically disposed to ‘never let a good crisis go to waste.’
One problem with interpreting the directional polling: Do those who feel Obama is wrecking the country as it was founded and agree with the president’s policies feel we are heading in the right direction or the wrong direction? We have a “loony 20%,” as I call them, comprised of unabashed progressives, socialists, leftists who do want to see the country “fundamentally transformed,” and who would not be averse to wrecking it initially in order to make it more “socially just.” It is difficult to say how many of these die-hard leftists would be in the “right direction” camp, but one should presume a good percentage. In other words, for staunch Obama voters, the right direction is the wrong one.