While we’ve never claimed to be the biggest fans of political polling here at Independent Voters of America, the results of this new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll (below) are instructive in showing the collective cynicism with which Americans view our political system and prospects for the country’s future.
Image: USA Today
There were a few traces of New Year’s optimism hidden within the poll, but the overall results were overwhelmingly pessimistic. More than three out of four Americans “say the way politics works in Washington is causing serious harm to the country.” By a 4-1 margin, Americans still disapprove of the way Congress is handing its job — no doubt a result influenced by 2012′s desperate last minute fiscal cliff compromise, which neither party seems to be happy with in the aftermath of the deal that was struck yesterday.
Additional results weren’t much more promising:
“By 2-1, those surveyed expect this year to be one of economic difficulty, not one of prosperity. A majority say employment will improve and inflation will be under control. But more than eight in 10 also say taxes and the crime rate will rise. Three of four predict a “troubled year” of international discord, not a peaceful one. Most believe American power around the globe will decline.”
Included in the USA Today report were a few choice quotes from voters surveyed that sound suspiciously like Independent Voters of America planted them in the story. Don’t worry, we don’t quite have that kind of clout, but we’re working on it:
“I just wish the politicians would be unified for what’s the good of the country, instead of the special interests and the partisanship and the party line. Just do what’s right for the people of this country,” Rogoff says. “We’d be unstoppable. But it seems like we’ve gone over the cliff on that.”
“If they could work together, they could get more stuff done,” Diana Jackson, 47, a customer-service representative, agrees. “I also think like this: We voted them in so they could do a job. If I didn’t do my job, I’d get fired. Why can’t they be accountable for not doing their job? They’ve forgotten why they’re there.”
Hmm… sure sounds like a bunch of independent minded, cooperation loving, bipartisan compromise malarkey? What do you think as an independent? Are you excited for the prospects of positive political change in 2013, or are the systemic obstacles of American politics simply too big for progress without some much needed drastic reform?