There is a long and interesting article by pollster Stanley Greenberg in the New York Times today that I wish everyone would read. It attempts to explain why people support the agenda of the Democratic Party, but don’t vote for them…
It’s enlightening and very scary…
The premise is basically that people don’t trust the Dems to actually do anything and they think government is too corrupted to work anyway…
Very scary stuff….
Here is a brief excerpt. Please click the link for the entire article:
Oddly, many voters prefer the policies of Democrats to the policies of Republicans. They just don’t trust the Democrats to carry out those promises.
When we conducted our election-night national survey after last year’s Republican sweep, voters strongly chose new investment over a new national austerity. They thought Democrats were more likely to champion the middle class. And as has become clear in the months since, the public does not share conservatives’ views on rejecting tax cuts and cutting retirement programs. Numerous recent polls have shown that the public sides with the president and Democrats on raising taxes to get to a balanced budget.
But in smaller, more probing focus groups, voters show they are fairly cynical about Democratic politicians’ stands. They tune out the politicians’ fine speeches and plans and express sentiments like these: “It’s just words.” “There’s just such a control of government by the wealthy that whatever happens, it’s not working for all the people; it’s working for a few of the people.” “We don’t have a representative government anymore.”
This distrust of government and politicians is unfolding as a full-blown crisis of legitimacy sidelines Democrats and liberalism. Just a quarter of the country is optimistic about our system of government — the lowest since polls by ABC and others began asking this question in 1974. But a crisis of government legitimacy is a crisis of liberalism. It doesn’t hurt Republicans. If government is seen as useless, what is the point of electing Democrats who aim to use government to advance some public end?
In earlier periods, confidence in the economy and rising personal incomes put limits on voter discontent. Today, a dispiriting economy combined with a well-developed critique of government leaves government not just distrusted but illegitimate.