Poll: Americans are angry; Republicans madder than Democrats

An interesting poll from Esquire/NBC News trying to measure how angry the country is.  The "American Rage Quiz" is an attempt to gauge public anger as they confront politics, media, and changes in the culture.

Washington Times:

“We the people are pissed. The body politic is burning up. And the anger that courses through our headlines and news feeds - about injustice and inequality, about marginalization and disenfranchisement, about what they are doing to us—shows no sign of abating.” the Esquire editors declare.

“Seventy-three percent of whites say they get angry at least once a day, as compared with 56 percent of blacks and 66 percent of Hispanics,” the survey advises. “Seventy-seven percent of Republicans get angry at least once a day, as compared with 67 percent of Democrats. The least angry household-income brackets: the very rich ($150,000-plus) and the very poor ($15,000 and less). The most angry: the middle of the middle class ($50,000 to $74,999),” the pollsters note in their findings.

Culture watchers point out that outrage and indignation has become a  contemporary marketing device. The clever news media often maneuvers the public into outrage and anger as a way to rivet both their interest and patronage - and up the audience numbers, whether measured by viewers, listeners or online clicks.

And some more numbers from the survey:

54 percent of Americans say the U.S. was once the most powerful country in the world but isn’t anymore; 41 percent say it remains the most powerful country.

52 percent say the American Dream does not hold true anymore; 36 percent say it does hold true, 11 percent say it never held true.

49 percent say they get angry more often than they did a year ago; 42 percent say they are angry just as often, 8 percent say they are angry less often.

This is Obama's real legacy: a loss of faith in America and her principles.  Of course, it's not surprising that so many of us are angry.  Both sides of the political debate have figured out how to press our buttons in order to move us in a certain direction.  It's a sophisticated effort, employing targeted messages to people based on their race, their ZIP code, their party affiliation, and other demographic factors. 

It's ironic that the Obama campaign of 2008 virtually invented the strategy, given that much of that anger is now directed toward the president.  But if the key to victory in 2016 is getting people so pissed off that they feel compelled to vote, what kind of country will be governed by the winner?  None that I recognize, that's for sure.

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