reason cover boy (well, author of a cover story) David Harsanyi has a new column up at The Denver Post that draws on recent Gallup Poll data which finds that about 80 percent of Americans are "satisfied" with their personal lives while "more than 70 percent of Americans believe the country is headed in the 'wrong direction'" when it comes to politics.
We don't like anyone in Washington. Many have pointed to this paradox as a way to dismiss the notion that we're truly happy at all.
Those folks, apparently, can't understand that only a minority derive happiness from government or politics. And, for the most part, those people are typically office holders taking great gratification in making the rest of us miserable.
The average American can compartmentalize their personal uncertainties and the troubles of the world. They have their own plan for the future—and presidential candidates have little to do with it….
Rather than uncovering a schizophrenic American, perhaps all this polling is evidence of a collectively even-keeled population. We don't like D.C., but we're perfectly happy with our lot.
Brian Doherty hung out with hangdog John Kerry fans after the 2004 election and counseled the sad sacks to remember there's a life beyond politics.
I gave a cheer to the "vanishing voter"–a.k.a. folks too busy to define themselves via partisan politics–back in 2000.
And for god's sake (and especially in a presidential election season), everyone should read Morris P. Fiorina's excellent Culture War?: The Myth of a Polarized America.