We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Americans are largely satisfied and optimistic about their personal lives, but pessimistic about their public institutions, says David Brooks in a NYT opinion.
I am not sure that is necessarily a bad thing. A quote:
Sixty-eight percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track. Sixty-two percent think that when government runs something, it is usually inefficient and wasteful. Sixty percent think the next generation will be worse off than the current one. Americans today are more pessimistic about governmentís ability to solve problems than they were in 1974 at the height of Watergate and the end of the Vietnam War.
This happiness gap between the private and the public creates a treacherous political vortex. On the one hand, it means voters are desperate for change. On the other hand, they donít want a change that will upset the lives they have built for themselves.
I have no doubt that the relentless negativity of the media contributes to that, but it still sounds like the America I know and love†- people†running their own lives as they see fit, and grumbling and suspicious†about politics and the gummint.
What would make me worry would be people loving their so-called†public institutions.
I'm not so sure they are so happy, at least in my somewhat upscale burb of Simsbury CT. Despite record wealth I think many suburban Americans are trying to find some affirmation and are easy marks for the left wing cultural elite crowd.
We have a third party formed with a seemingly large support. The motivating issue on the surface is the proposal to build a housing/shopping complex on a piece of industrially zoned land. The usual problems are cited, traffic, sprawl etc., but the reponse is out of proportion. The public discussion and proposed candidates seem almost to reject any sort of respect for the law and proper procedures in their zeal to stop development.
My suspicion is that there is realization that living in a wealthy town does not by itself make you happy, your kids smart, or your sh*t not stink. The response is to circle the wagons and in the process drive out all the old Yankees that gave the town a real character.
Epidemiology of Mental Illness and the Left on Happiness
One of the great things about these happiness/unhappiness polls is that according to the Surgeon General's reports over time state there are about 50 million Americans with treatable mental illness. Now that's a whopping big number and begs the question as to whether these 50 million adults could ever be happy about anything.
Having said that I would also pile on the fact that if one choses to explore the site I've touted many times, http://www.discoverthenetworks.org, Discover the Networks. you will see that there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of groups whose entire purpose is to create an atmosphere of discontent in the USA. Many of the individuals are in Congress and under the cover of "helping" actually spend most of their time throwing sand in the machine.
Their impact has never been measured as far as I can tell, but a rational person would not argue that a focus by that many organizations to create discontent would have a negative impact.
SO we have some a huge number of Americans that we could hook up to jumper cables and many members of Congress who could use the same therapy.