The Point (and Counterpoint) Go to the Polls
In his recent commentary “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Mark Hyman cites a recent Harris poll that shows Americans feel good about their lives and are optimistic about their individual futures. This, Hyman argues, is in stark contrast with “the negative portrayal of America reported by the major news outlets since early 2001.” [Emphasis mine]
Our Mark isn’t exactly subtle, is he?
Yes, there’s apparently a vast left wing media elite conspiracy seeking to undermine President Bush. (Hyman is silent on why this conspiracy, if it has been going on since early 2001, Bush’s approval has been well above 50% for most of his time in office and why the “mainstream media” acted as de facto cheerleaders for the Iraq war by following Bush administration talking points to the letter . . . but I digress).
Apparently, Hyman’s thesis is that the American people have a clearer perspective on things than the national media.
If so, perhaps Hyman should surf his way over to Polling Report.com. There, he’ll find that while Americans are traditionally an optimistic people, they aren’t particularly enthused by the current occupant of the White House or what he’s doing to their country.
Currently, according to the Gallup survey’s cited at Polling Report’s website, Bush’s approval stands at 45% and falling, while 51% of respondents disapprove.
When asked about the economy specifically, only 36% of respondents said it was “excellent” or “good,” while 64% rated the economy as “only fair” or “poor.”
On the Iraq war, 54% of Americans now see it as a mistake, with only 44% think it was a good idea. If the Bush camp calls his margin of victory in November a mandate, then there would seem no superlative in the language that can accurately capture this level of dismay with the president’s foreign policy.
Not surprisingly, when asked the general question of whether the United States is on the “right track” or the “wrong track,” 60% of Americans say our nation is going wrong, while barely more than a third (37%) think things are hunky dory.
Yes, Mark, it is a testament to the resolute optimism of the American people that they can still be so cheerful about their own lives and hopeful about the future when they have such a lack of confidence in their head of state.
Perhaps this is because so many of us are consistently reminding ourselves that the reign of Bush fils is coming to an end in the not-too-distant future And given that America has survived and thrived for nearly 230 years, through Civil War, global war, economic depression, civil and social strife, it will take more than a failed businessman from Texas with a room-temperature IQ to bring down the republic.
And that’s The Counterpoint.
Hyman Index: 1.34