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This new poll looks good.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thirty-five percent of Americans name the government, poor leadership or politicians as the greatest problem facing the U.S. This is the highest percentage Gallup has recorded for this concern, edging out the previous high of 33% during the 2013 federal government shutdown.

But, dig a little deeper and it starts to look like that declining IQ in action.

The current percentage of Americans naming government as the most important problem is nearly twice as high as the 18% recorded in November. That increase likely reflects public frustration with the government shutdown that occurred from late December through most of January. Gallup observed a similar double-digit spike spanning the 2013 government shutdown, from 16% in September 2013 to 33% in October 2013.

Americans have different things in mind when they name the government as the most important problem. An analysis of the verbatim responses to the question from the latest survey finds that 11% of Americans specifically cite “Donald Trump” as the most important problem, while 5% name “the Democrats” or “liberals” and 1% “Congress.” About half of those who say the government is the most important problem — 18% of U.S. adults — blame both parties or cite “gridlock,” “lack of cooperation” or the shutdown more generally. The latter figure has grown from 6% in December and 12% in January.

If the government’s the problem, then why not celebrate it closing (even temporarily)?

Bottom Line
Federal government shutdowns have clear, negative effects on Americans’ views on a variety of measures, including their general satisfaction with the direction of the country. But shutdowns aside, Americans’ views of the government itself as a problem — rather than the means of solving problems — have increased over the past two decades. On one end of Gallup’s 2001-2019 trend is the record low of 1% naming the government as the greatest problem, recorded one month after 9/11. On the other end is the latest 35%, as the longest shutdown on record left bad feelings on both sides of the political aisle.

At the moment, Democrats and Republicans are aligned in this view, though likely for different reasons. For Democrats, the shutdown was a stalemate over a border wall they overwhelmingly reject — from a president of whom few in the party approve. For Republicans — who show an even greater recent increase in mentions of government as the top U.S. problem — the ramifications of losing control of the House of Representatives and the party’s inability to pass legislation it favors may be dawning on the party’s rank and file.

The people seem to sense some sort of odd issue emanating from the Democrats and Republicans. But they keep identifying as Democrats and Republicans. Einstein had a saying about this pattern of action. Also, there’s more cooperation at work than most people understand; the uniparty keeps the government going and the government keeps causing trouble. And, if one still believes that the United States Empire is in any manner democratic, then where does the ultimate blame lie? Maybe with the … people themselves?

A little good news from the other findings in this particular poll: the second biggest problem the wise citizens see is with immigration. However, given their track record with accurately assessing their own chosen number one issue, Lord only knows what they’re thinking about number two. My guess is that, whatever that is, it is also indicative of the general mental decline.


Vox Day on confusing the Nation with the State: