Monday, October 15, 2007

The land of optimism is in the dumps, but refuses to accept how it got there

Not since Watergate has such pessimism afflicted Americans. They want politicians to lift them without facing the cause

Gary Younge in New York
Monday October 15, 2007
The Guardian

".....Which brings us, finally, to the political class. Once again the American public have lost faith. The rot starts at the top. Almost as soon as they elected Bush in 2004 they seemed to regret it. Since Katrina, his favourability ratings have been stuck in the 30s and show no signs of moving - or at least not upwards. Bush's only comfort is that public approval of the Democratically controlled Congress is even worse, hovering just below where it was shortly before the 2006 elections. In other words, however Americans believe their country will return to the right track, they no longer trust politicians to get them there.

Little suggests that anything will change any time soon. After four years of being told they were winning a war they have been losing and are better off when they are not, Americans are more wary of political happy talk than they have been for a long time. But that doesn't mean they want to hear sad talk instead, even if it happens to be true. For the central problem is not that they were lied to - though that of course is a problem - but that they have constantly found some of these lies more palatable than the truth. Bush may have exploited the more problematic aspects of this optimism. But he did not create them. Enough of the American public had to be prepared to meet him halfway to make his agenda possible......"

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