Are you better off now than you were 10 years ago? For middle-class Americans, a common answer to this version of Ronald Reagan’s old question is no. Nor are they optimistic about the future. The recession may be over officially, but a lot of smart people are convinced that broad-based improvements in the standard of living are largely a thing of the past. -Virginia Postrel
Eight years later, as Obama prepares to depart the White House, he leaves the nation in a cloud of disappointment, recrimination, and even paranoia. None of the wars Obama inherited are truly over, and he has started or joined America to several more.
If anything, the sense of America's decline is even more palpable than before. -Michael Brendan Dougherty
Two-thirds of Americans feel they have little or no influence over the actions of the federal government. Forty-five percent say the country’s greatness is ebbing. As many see voter fraud as commonplace. A third aren’t confident that votes in the presidential election will be counted fairly. -Julie Phelan
Democrat, Character, Degeneracy, Narrative, Oops, AntiAmerican
The dream is gone for Democrats, the American Dream that is. In a new YouGov poll, 53 percent of Democrats say that the American dream is no longer achievable. By comparison, 55 percent of Republicans say the dream is still achievable.
“Barack Obama and his mission has failed because it lacked a certain kind of moral courage, a kind of moral vision . . . a kind of courage we are in need of.”
[July 2016]: Americans have been disheartened for so long about the nation’s course that it is easy to miss a landmark in the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll: Nearly three-quarters of voters believe the nation has gone off on the wrong track, the highest mark of pessimism in three years. -Aaron Zitner