Polls have shown that a large majority of Americans, north of 75%, are unhappy with the state of the nation.
An AP-NORC survey this summer revealed that both 92% of Republicans and 78% of Democrats are dissatisfied with the direction of the country — the highest number among Democrats since President Joe Biden took office.
It’s as if the powers that be aren’t listening to the people.
As it turns out, they’re not.
A poll from Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies shows that the three issues top of mind for voters are inflation, the economy and jobs, and immigration. They also think that Republican leaders are on the same page.
Democratic leaders, on the other hand, are most concerned with Jan. 6, women’s rights and climate change, according to the poll.
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Disconnect is an understatement.
Yet if you consider the daily struggles of ordinary citizens vs. the talking points of Capitol Hill big shots, it’s as if America is two different countries.
When families are seeing their grocery bills spike to the point that some items are out of reach, making sure the kids are fed is Worry No. 1, not how fast the ice caps are melting.
When people manage to snag a raise at work, only to see inflation erode their spending power, trying to stay ahead on bills is on the front burner, not parsing the events of Jan. 6 ad infinitum.
And when folks who’ve dutifully put aside money in their 401(k)s watch plunging markets drain their retirement nest egg, they fear for their future, not debating Roe v. Wade being handed to states’ jurisdictions.
But you wouldn’t know it from the press conferences and speeches. Inflation? No big deal — or if it is, it’s Putin’s fault.
Struggling to fill the tank — or even half — at the gas pump? That’s your own fault for using fossil fuels. And the looming freeze of winter that locks so many families in a battle against high heating bills, well, that just proves that solar is the way to go. Won’t help you this winter, but that’s beside the point.
It’s not lost on the American voter that Washington is more concerned with the struggle to hold onto congressional seats rather than the struggles faced by ordinary people.
It doesn’t help that the Democratic Party is at odds with itself. From the run-up to the 2020 election, Biden was berated by progressives for not being more like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The president is castigated by the far left for not hewing to a more progressive platform.
And the most recent gaffe in which the Progressive Caucus sent, and then withdrew, a letter calling for a diplomatic solution to Russia’s war in Ukraine speaks volumes.
“The letter was drafted several months ago, but unfortunately was released by staff without vetting. As Chair of the Caucus, I accept responsibility for this,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., wrote.
These people are in charge.
As we head into the November midterms, the message machine will be in full swing. Democratic leaders are impassioned and motivated to promote their causes — too bad they’re not the same causes their constituents care most about.
— Boston Herald Editorial Board