Sunday, November 1, 2015

October, 2015, Part 4, By The Numbers: What Americans Want Is Not What Politicians Deliver (Or Really Care About)

This is the fourth post among a few days worth of discussion of “by the numbers.” We do this theme occasionally where we look at the reality of the numbers in the world and not the lies, deceptions, and spin of the American political class. I used to work for a boss whose favorite quote was: “There is nothing more devastating to an opinion than the correct number.” By looking at the statistics, trends, and numbers in our world we can cut through the politicians’ smoke screen to truly understand what is going on and hopefully, remedy the issues of the day.

The numbers we will look at this week will often have a common thread running almost through all of them: the views, positions, and opinions of the majority of Americans are often the exact opposite of the views and related actions that our politicians own. Since we are supposed to be living in a representative government system one would hope that the laws, rules, and government functions that our politicians oversee reflect the thinking, hopes, and views of the American citizenry.

As the numbers will usually show, that is nowhere close to reality, which I think reflects two underlying negative trends:

  1. American politicians vote and act for their own personal interests first, Americans’ interests and well being being of secondary consideration. If a politician’s actions can get them more votes or more campaign cash for their perpetual reelection campaigns, than that is their priority, usually not the priorities of their constituents.
  2. Second, I personally believe that today’s American politicians take care of their special interest friends and financiers first and foremost, and the interests of those special interest friends (e.g.unions, corporations, lobbyists, etc.) are usually not in alignment with what the majority of Americans have as their priorities.
Keep these two possibilities in mind as we go “by the numbers” for the next few days and try to show the major disconnect between what Americans want and what politicians are doing:

1) Despite what the Obama administration might try to tell us about how much safer we are from a terrorist attack because of their anti-terror efforts, the numbers show that we are not buying their lies and spin. According to a September 8, 2015 Washington Examiner report by Paul Bedard:
  • 72% of respondents to a recent survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs say that they still fear an Islamic based terror attack.
  • This is the highest level of fear since the 9-11 attacks fourteen years ago.
  • 73% of respondents are so concerned that they support the targeted assassination of terrorist leaders.
  • Americans are more in favor of aggressive anti-terror measures more in 2015 than they were in 2014 (click on the chart for a larger view):

One reason for the growing pessimism and concern, as measured by these poll numbers, is that Obama's strategy to degrade and defeat the larger terror groups around the world has been an absolute failure. Despite spending billions of dollars, groups like ISIS continue to grow, enrich themselves, and attract more recruits than ever. 
2) And while the above numbers show that Americans are more and more concerned about terrorism, a recent Gallup poll shows that they are also more and more concerned and convinced that corruption is widespread within our government:- In 2014, according to Gallup, 75% of those polled said that corruption is widespread in this country’s government structure.
- While this level of perceived corruption was down from the perceived level in 2013, our disgust with our politicians and their corruption is still trending upwards over time, up from 66% in 2009 when Obama took office:

Not a good thing when three out of four citizens think that their government is corrupt. It creates a layer of pessimism over the whole country that no problem or issue will ever get resolved because those in office who should be resolving those problems for the good of the citizenry are too busy lining their own pockets and taking care of the interests of their friends and cronies.
And the reality that this perceived corruption has increased dramatically during the Obama administration shows that those who had our doubts about Obama have been proven correct.  The past seven years of increasing corruption during his administration bring to mind the old Who song lyrics: “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” Those who thought that Obama was a breath of fresh air to lead the country to new heights failed to realize, as these numbers show, that he was just another shallow, corrupt politician from Chicago.

3) But perhaps all governments and the politicians that operate them are considered corrupt. Maybe the U.S. is not any different from the rest of the world and we should not be concerned. There actually is a set of numbers to explore that theory.
Freedom House’s Press Freedom surveys ask the following questions of citizens around the world: is corruption widespread throughout the government in this country?The 2014 survey results are fascinating:
  • Even in this survey, 75% of Americans polled think our government is corrupt.
  • This level of perceived corruption places us as the 12th most corrupt government among the 37 nations considered in the survey, putting our government in the top 25% relative to perceived corruption.
  • Only 14% of Sweden’s citizens considered their government to be corrupt, less than one fifth of what U.S. citizens considered their government to be corrupt.
The entire list of countries, including the 25 nations as whose citizens have a better perception of their government from a corruption perspective are listed below:

No matter what Obama thinks about his Presidency, the numbers show how poorly Americans perceive the job he has done. We are more fearful than ever of an Islamic terrorists attack, so much so that we want the government and this administration to take stronger actions to combat terrorism. But at the same time we are pretty disgusted with the corruption that is rampant in this administration in particular and our government in general, with three out of four of us thinking that our government is basically corrupt. 
The numbers do not lie even if politicians do. More numbers tomorrow.Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Term Limits Now:

No comments: