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.