Pessimism sweeps America

It's gloomy out there. Men and women, whites and minorities — all are feeling a war-weary pessimism about the country seldom shared by so many people.

Only 25 percent of those surveyed say things in the U.S. are going in the right direction, according to an AP-Ipsos poll this month. That is about the lowest level of satisfaction detected since the survey started in December 2003.

Rarely have longer-running polls found such a rate since the even gloomier days of 1992 ahead of the first President Bush's re-election loss to Democrat Bill Clinton.

The current glumness is widely blamed on public discontent with the war in Iraq and with President Bush. It is striking for how widespread the mood is among different groups of people.

Women and minorities are less content than men and whites, which has been true for years. But all four groups are at or near record lows for the AP-Ipsos poll, and at unusually low levels for older surveys, as well.

Three in 10 men and two in 10 women said this month they think the country is on the right track, down from nearly half of each who felt that way at the end of 2003.

By race, 28 percent of whites and 18 percent of minorities said the same — just over half their rates of optimism from late 2003.

Asked in April why they felt things were veering in the wrong direction, one-third overall volunteered the war and one-fourth blamed poor leadership.

Nine percent faulted the economy, 8 percent a loss of moral values and 5 percent gasoline prices.

"We need to get out of war, get our economy back up, quit spending money outside of America and bring it here," said Democrat Lisa Pollard, 45, an insurance company analyst in Arlington, Texas.


  1. Joe Sedlak

    Of course Americans are tired and depressed. While the on-going war is the largest weighty burden, almost equal to it is the incompetence of this administration and its abandonment of reason and logic – and our Constitution.

    And, don’t forget the crimes of key officials – only a few have been caught so far, but plenty more in the works. Even impeachment won’t clean up the mess, but it will help.

    While our money is poured into the almost bottomless pit of the war in Iraq we can see our health, education, and infrastructure worsening. Our grandkids and their kids are faced with increasing debt. What a way for them to live!

    Can the democrats stop this – not without republican help. After all, it is their mess that has to be cleaned up!

  2. Bill Jonke

    Are too lazy and too busy crying over spilled milk, like they’re always wont to do, that they obviously wouldn’t lift a finger to help anybody except themselves, whether it be to bolster their finances and prejudiced lifestyle, or dig deeper and fuck up the system even more.

    Alas, it appears that the Democrats are on their own.

  3. Steve Horn

    Joe wrote “Can the democrats stop this – not without republican help. After all, it is their mess that has to be cleaned up!”

    But it’s not a Republican mess – it’s OUR mess – part of living in a representative republic is sharing the responsibilty of failure and working towards the correction of what’s gone wrong.

    It’s easy to blame Republicans for this one – after all – they were in power when we invaded Iraq – but at least one Democrat – trying to head to the White House – voted to give Bush the power to invade.

    WE need to clean this mess up – somehow we need to take this great nation of ours back from the greed saturated republicrats –

    We need to remember that politicians aren’t installed into office to do their own bidding – they are entrusted and empowered by the population to do the citizens bidding. If we’re not happy with whom we elected we have no one to blame but ourselves.

    Perhaps if a greater percentage of the population would bother to research candidates on their own (rather than relying on the talking heads at FOX, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC or the some other “news” outlet) and would bother to get out and vote we’d be in a better place than we are today as Americans.

    I’ve often wondered about some who cast blame with the loudest voice – what their personal voting record is ….



  4. Steve Horn

    Let’s see – increasing energy prices (which causes everything else to cost more), erroding wages, falling housing market, jobs heading offshore in record numbers, manufacturing plants being shuttered, thousands being killed or maimed in an unethical, illegal war, “leaders” being arrested, questioned, detained or dethroned in an apparently endless series of ethics scandals, inability of OUR government to do what WE want it to do, trickle down lapses of ethics, pervasive fear of attack –

    Oh – if you invested in the energy sector I suppose you might be happy – obviously if you’re CEO of EXXON you could probably smile as someone drove a nail through your foot – but for the rest of us?

  5. Donnat

    that the American people, especially recovering Bush voters, have discovered that we were right all along about Iraq, the economy, corruption at high levels, domestic spying, etc.

    I was very down in 2003 when it looked like we were heading into the Fourth Reich without any brakes, but hopefully, we can do a U-turn in 2008.


    put down the remote,
    go out and vote!