Depressing poll reveals Americans think nation’s best days are behind it

posted at 9:21 am on July 7, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Those conducting an annual poll for The Atlantic/Aspen Institute were undoubtedly depressed when they asked Americans what they thought the world would look like in 2024. To say that Americans are pessimistic about the future would be an understatement.

Americans are more divided by race and class, expect the county to continue to decline, and believe Russia and China will present a greater threat. The Survey found that 49 percent of respondents believed the country was “more unified” in 2004 than it is today. Atlantic suggested that respondents were viewing the events of “fractious 2004 with rose-colored glasses,” but a recent Pew Research Center study also found that political polarization has increased dramatically in recent years.

2004

50 percent of respondents say it will be difficult to afford a college education in 2024. 64 percent say the ease of finding jobs for their children will grow more difficult, though 60 percent also say that their kids’ lives will be better than theirs were. A plurality, 44 percent, believe Spanish will overtake English as the most widely spoken language in the U.S. in 10 years.

66 percent believe the gap between rich and poor will expand in the next decade and two-thirds say that money will become even “more of a force” in politics than it is today. 43 percent of respondents say the country is on the decline while only 30 percent say it is on the rise.

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Respondents were, however, mostly optimistic about their personal circumstances over the next decade, and the survey’s findings changed dramatically when broken down by race, gender, and partisan affiliation.

Men are far more optimistic about the future and the opportunities available to their children than women, and Democrats are more optimistic about the economy than Republicans. Hispanics and African-Americans expressed more optimism about the future than did their white counterparts.

Only 34 percent of whites said the U.S. economy was headed on the “right track,” while 49 percent of blacks and 59 percent of Latinos agreed. 49 percent of African-Americans and 49 percent of Hispanics said they believed they would own a business in two years, while only 11 percent of whites shared that sentiment.

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I am going to be called racist for even thinking this, but the best thing that whites could do for this country would be to have more children.

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Don’t know about racist but you’re a blatant procreationist!

de rigueur on July 7, 2014 at 11:08 AM

The original constitution. Not the one that has been destroyed with a number of amendments.
Scrap the part about allowing slavery and keep the 2 term limit on the presidency and you pretty much have what we need.
I would go a bit further though and give states even more power than they had before in restraining the federal government.

astonerii on July 7, 2014 at 11:00 AM

2/3rds of state legislatures should be able to override any act of Congress.

Also the voting franchise must be denied to those on government assistance or on the government payroll. If you work for government, you work for the People, which means you should not be allowed to vote.

Want to vote? Get a private sector job. Want to vote? Get a job and EARN your food. Never again should a political party be able to base itself solely on buying votes with taxpayer dollars.

There also need to be term limits for public “service” no more than 12 years in one’s lifetime can be spent at any level, Congress, the judiciary, or President. It’s supposed to be service, not a career.

And, no standing army beyond that needed to secure our borders and maintain infrastructure (such as ships, bases, etc). The military should consist solely of Militia which is all volunteer. This would prevent DC from running off into unpopular foreign adventures, as well as give the States a veto over such acts, since States have to agree to release their militias to the Federal government.

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Except for the years of Reagan and Coolidge, no respect for the Constitution has been paid beyond lip service since the War of the Northern Aggression.

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 11:03 AM

I have to differ a bit on this. The politicians have always tried to get around the Constitution (and the SCOTUS has contributed greatly in taking the Constitution apart) but there is a qualitative difference between the way the boundaries have been diffused and pushed back (bad enough, of course, but still gradual and reparable) and how the whole Rule of Law has simply been tossed out the window. There was still a requirement of a modicum of integrity in the government offices – not that the people had integrity but that they thought that the public demanded it. Nixon resigned rather than drag the nation through the ringer.

That is all now gone, though. There is not even the assumption that one needs a facade of integrity in any way, shape, or form. The animals have truly been let loose – i.e. the federal government has really gone feral. There can be no domesticating of this feral government. It can only be put down and a new, domesticated federal government brought to life.

I totally agree that we don’t have to start from scratch. We have the Constitution and all of our experiences to work from. I meant only that a new nation must be formed. We will not be like France (into its 5th republic, already – you have to wonder why they keep calling it “France”). The United States is gone but a new American Constitutional Republic can be brought to life in a totally new nation – which is why the national divorce is, to my mind, required for such.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 7, 2014 at 11:12 AM

So why do you think 0bama is so for abortion and birth control? He wants to get rid of the elitist whites who luv him and import all the black and brown children to overwhelm the country.
I really believe he thinks he can do it, and he’s is proving he can.
So we are encouraging people to not have children because we will over populate but let’s bring all the illegals in. For what? Sex slaves/or slaves of any kind. Is it just for their votes?

Bambi on July 7, 2014 at 11:14 AM

For thsoe of you too young to catch the meaning… 2525 is a song by a duo named Zager & Evans from yesteryear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izQB2-Kmiic

307wolverine on July 7, 2014 at 11:07 AM

My favorite dystopian song. It’s interesting to compare my thoughts regarding the song on this end of my time line compared to earlier.

SteveInRTP on July 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

49 percent of African-Americans and 49 percent of Hispanics said they believed they would own a business in two years

Drug dealing is a business??

and a Taco stand on every corner with a side of Spanish language instruction.

txdoc on July 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Obama is a progressive – a radical leftist.

DrDeano on July 7, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Not really. Barky is too dumb to have any political posture, really. Barky is just a third-world retard bent on exacting some demented, delusional sense of “revenge” against the US and the West. That’s all he’s about – trying to bring pain and destruction to us. Which is lucky for Barky, since destruction is about the only thing that a truly incompetent moron can accomplish, if given enough power.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Our society is a living example of the ‘frog in a cook pot’ , we allowed bureaucratic ninnies to take us over without firing a shot. I’m just as guilty and am sorry.

Tard on July 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

I would be disappointed if the majority of the respondents said the nation was on the rise. It would illustrate the country is in total denial. The population segments that represent the largest number of freeloaders (blacks and Hispanics) are the most positive.

I am surprised that 30% say the nation is on the rise. Must be illegal aliens, blacks and guilt-ridden liberals.

A country’s best days aren’t ahead of it when it imports tens of millions of uneducated, unskilled aliens who will destroy its education and health systems as well as its national character.

bw222 on July 7, 2014 at 11:19 AM

So why do you think 0bama is so for abortion and birth control? He wants to get rid of the elitist whites who luv him and import all the black and brown children to overwhelm the country.
I really believe he thinks he can do it, and he’s is proving he can.
So we are encouraging people to not have children because we will over populate but let’s bring all the illegals in. For what? Sex slaves/or slaves of any kind. Is it just for their votes?

Bambi on July 7, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Actually it’s poor blacks that abortion is mostly aimed at. Whites are the minority in terms of abortions.

Abortion is mostly about de-sanctifying life. Once you’ve breached that veil, it becomes easier to get the populace to accept euthanasia and the other sick things from the early 20th Century eugenics movement.

The reason why the left wants hordes of illegals is not only for votes, it’s to replenish the permanent underclass.

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Granny Warren is waiting in the bull pen ready to finish what Obama has started.She’s the closer on America.
The 2012 re-election of Obama to me indicated we have crossed the threshold.The Grifters won,America lost.

celtic warrior on July 7, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Not really. Barky is too dumb to have any political posture, really. Barky is just a third-world retard bent on exacting some demented, delusional sense of “revenge” against the US and the West. That’s all he’s about – trying to bring pain and destruction to us. Which is lucky for Barky, since destruction is about the only thing that a truly incompetent moron can accomplish, if given enough power.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Obama is just a buffoonish figurehead. Sure, he believes in all that stuff, but he’s not the one really in charge. He’s not implimenting his own agenda, he’s George Soros’s proxy.

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Granny Warren is waiting in the bull pen ready to finish what Obama has started.She’s the closer on America.
The 2012 re-election of Obama to me indicated we have crossed the threshold.The Grifters won,America lost.

celtic warrior on July 7, 2014 at 11:20 AM

The grifters never win in the end. People are not going to work for less than half what they earn, that is, if you can find work at all. A system cannot survive with a majority on the public dole.

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 11:25 AM

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 11:23 AM

I have to respectfully disagree. Barky is certainly in charge. He is doing exactly the things that he wants to do. There are lots of things that Barky doesn’t care about, though, so he lets those in his junta have free reign to do whatever they want to do, too. The leftists get a lot, but Barky is just interested in screwing things up, which he naturally excels at.

One example I would offer for my view is BarkyCare. The Indonesian didn’t really give a sh!t what was in the legislation. He didn’t even care if it actually passed, or not. All Barky cared about was pushing it over and over and over until either it passed or he broke the institutions trying to force it through. Barky’s interest was just in trying to force anything un-American on us and to do it in a way that threatened the integrity of the legislative processes. As to the content … barky could not have cared less – which is where Soros and the leftist slime got to have all their fun.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 7, 2014 at 11:29 AM

The truth hurts.

corona79 on July 7, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Hey, let’s elect more Democrats – that’ll do it.

Midas on July 7, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Yes, and our best Presidents are also behind us, while our worst is very much here in the present, right in our faces.

Ray Van Dune on July 7, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Cry for the beloved country. That is all I can say.

I came here at age 5 and thought this country was wonderful, and it was.

Now, 50+ years later, I wonder where it is headed. Hope and pray, not hope and change.

Mariadee on July 7, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Obama’s ascension is America’s death knell.
It’s that simple.
Our days of being a great nation are behind us. We’ve reached the point were charisma and bulls**t gets you elected President. The only question is how rapidly we descend in becoming the United States of Detroit.

OxyCon on July 7, 2014 at 12:12 PM

I stopped displaying the American flag at my house last year.
That’s a 28′ permanent flagpole in my front yard, empty.
The symbolism was not lost on my neighbors.

Tard on July 7, 2014 at 12:43 PM

And, BTW, we don’t elect a President to be a “leader”. He is the individual head of one branch of government but he is not supposed to be “leading” anything other than foreign policy and our defense. I don’t know where this idea that we are looking for any sort of “leader” came from. I never wanted a “leader” in the Oval Office. I wanted someone who would faithfully execute the responsibilities of the office and not stray outside of the constraints of it. I don’t need to be led by anyone. I always wanted someone who would be led by the Constitutional duties and bounds.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 7, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Hear, hear!

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 7, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Ronnie, come back!

Tard on July 7, 2014 at 12:54 PM

The Idiocracy is here.

dentarthurdent on July 7, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Let’s see. The Year 2024 would put as right at the end of Hillary’s second term. I would say Americans are not pessimistic enough.

Esaus Message on July 7, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Fools, it’s self-made.

Congratulations, sheeple!!!

Schadenfreude on July 7, 2014 at 1:14 PM

If we continue to have “leaders” like obama I think the survey is correct. If in the election of 2014 we decide to rid our country of the people who are intentionally trying to degrade it then I don’t agree with the results. If you don’t like the way we are trending then do something about it. Get involved in the political process in your area and change things. It is up to you. It is your choice.

TheNakedEye on July 7, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Economically and demographically we have reached the point of no return.The fix is in.There are now too many people dependent on the government to ever risk voting for somebody who might take those entitlements away or reduce them.Demographically the natural voting base for the Republicans is decreasing while those that vote Democrap are ever increasing.Amnesty will be the final nail in America’s coffin.I fear for my grandkids.That’s all folks!

redware on July 7, 2014 at 1:27 PM

The Idiocracy is here.

dentarthurdent on July 7, 2014 at 1:04 PM

In full force. Idiots. So many.

Malcolm Crowe: Dead people Idiots, like, in graves Starbucks? In coffins Priuses?
Cole Sear: Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re dead idiots.
Malcolm Crowe: How often do you see them?
Cole Sear: All the time. They’re everywhere.

hawkeye54 on July 7, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Americans are more divided by race and class, expect the county to continue to decline, and believe Russia and China will present a greater threat.

Which county is that, Noah?

Ward Cleaver on July 7, 2014 at 1:46 PM

It’s interesting that 49% of Hispanics believe that in 10 years people who “work hard and play by the rules” will be more likely to get ahead considering the huge number of those that broke the law to get here and stay here. I guess they see rules and laws as entirely different things.

Rocks on July 7, 2014 at 1:49 PM

In full force. Idiots. So many.

hawkeye54 on July 7, 2014 at 1:43 PM

This is what happens when so many decide to embrace Mao instead of Madison….

Athos on July 7, 2014 at 1:58 PM

This is what happens when so many decide to embrace Mao instead of Madison….

Athos on July 7, 2014 at 1:58 PM

What happens when so many in education have embraced Mao instead of Madison and would rather spread the lessons of Mao rather than the lessons of Madison.

hawkeye54 on July 7, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Fundamentally transformed.

bgibbs1000 on July 7, 2014 at 2:08 PM

It’s interesting that 49% of Hispanics believe that in 10 years people who “work hard and play by the rules” will be more likely to get ahead considering the huge number of those that broke the law to get here and stay here. I guess they see rules and laws as entirely different things.

Rocks on July 7, 2014 at 1:49 PM

The ones who worked hard to get here legally will continue to work hard and will be likely to do well in 10 years. The fence jumpers will still be on welfare 10 years from now.

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Given the vast number of low-IQ and low-info voters, and given the current POS twice elected to the White House……is there any wonder?

GarandFan on July 7, 2014 at 2:20 PM

For numerous reasons (demographics, undermining the Constitution, ect) the entire West has reached its pinacle. Sad to say, and sad to think about. Right now there is still a seperation between the civilized and the barbarian cultures of the world, but we may very well join their ranks in time. Collectively we are simply too stupid to defend Western liberalism from outside forces and from ourselves.

Faramir on July 7, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Countries like Switzerland and Australia are positioning themselves nicely.

The US, with its massive debt overhang, increasing regulation, and growing illiterate (and violent) underclass, might find that most talent and wealth head for the exits.

will77jeff on July 7, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Between Cost of Living and other laws/statutes, most people on this site would HATE living permanently in either of those countries.

uatu1878 on July 7, 2014 at 2:25 PM

For numerous reasons (demographics, undermining the Constitution, ect) the entire West has reached its pinacle. Sad to say, and sad to think about. Right now there is still a seperation between the civilized and the barbarian cultures of the world, but we may very well join their ranks in time. Collectively we are simply too stupid to defend Western liberalism from outside forces and from ourselves.

Faramir on July 7, 2014 at 2:24 PM

“The enemy is among us and they are us”!

cajunpatriot on July 7, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Respondents were, however, mostly optimistic about their personal circumstances over the next decade, and the survey’s findings changed dramatically when broken down by race, gender, and partisan affiliation.

Men are far more optimistic about the future and the opportunities available to their children than women, and Democrats are more optimistic about the economy than Republicans. Hispanics and African-Americans expressed more optimism about the future than did their white counterparts.

^ I’m building my tower, and I don’t really care upon whose bones or upon which pile of ash I build it.

^ The only metaphor in that statement is “building my tower.”

Since people are always more optimistic about their own houses than their neighborhoods in these polls, it’s temping to think that the difference in optimism-for-country/optimism-for-self is more of the same, and that their “real” opinions of how things will be in the future are closer to their opinions of themselves, not their opinions of their neighbors. And that is likely true this time, to a point, if it’s true any other — but this time, you need to subtract some weird things if you want to see it that way: subtract the people who see their ambitions as the objectives of their lives, not any Great American Society project, the people who are going to accomplish their goals with America, without America, or over America’s dead body. There’s a lot of that sentiment, in greater or lesser degree, and such people aren’t “secretly” optimistic about American anything.

(The fact that the attitude is quintessentially American and spreading — “my life’s goals are the point of my life, or my family’s goals, or God’s goals for my life as I understand them, [etc.], and if the government is in the way, try to ignore it, try to get around it, try to reason with it, or eventually just remove it” — might actually be reason for optimism. Weirdly, the more people who don’t care if the country’s current national ambitions succeed or fail, the better the chance something conservative survives this current Socialist coup.)

Democrats are more optimistic about the economy than Republicans. Hispanics and African-Americans expressed more optimism about the future than did their white counterparts.

Only 34 percent of whites said the U.S. economy was headed on the “right track,” while 49 percent of blacks and 59 percent of Latinos agreed. 49 percent of African-Americans and 49 percent of Hispanics said they believed they would own a business in two years, while only 11 percent of whites shared that sentiment.

^ That’s disgusting, and I don’t dare.

Axe on July 7, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Gun owners are already enemies of the Democrat State. If the achieve permanent majority status, we will become very special enemies of the State.

claudius on July 7, 2014 at 2:50 PM

I stopped displaying the American flag at my house last year.
That’s a 28′ permanent flagpole in my front yard, empty.
The symbolism was not lost on my neighbors.

Tard on July 7, 2014 at 12:43 PM

I took mine down altogether the day after the 2012 election.

claudius on July 7, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Tard on July 7, 2014 at 12:43 PM
I took mine down altogether the day after the 2012 election.

claudius on July 7, 2014 at 2:56 PM

You should fly them upside down….

(duress signal)

dentarthurdent on July 7, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Gun owners are already enemies of the Democrat State. If the achieve permanent majority status, we will become very special enemies of the State.

claudius on July 7, 2014 at 2:50 PM

By some estimates there are well over 300 million firearms in private ownership in this country, which is the size of a continent.

They aren’t getting them back. And if they try, they won’t have the manpower to do it even if the military backs them. Which they won’t.

The Founders knew what they were doing when they wrote the Constitution. The Second Amendment may well be the last refuge, but it will save the Republic.

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 3:22 PM

I stopped displaying the American flag at my house last year.
That’s a 28′ permanent flagpole in my front yard, empty.
The symbolism was not lost on my neighbors.

Tard on July 7, 2014 at 12:43 PM

I still love seeing Old Glory, but I get your point. If I had a permanent flagpole I’d probably replace it with the Gadsen flag.

Remember, the Stars and Stripes belong to US, not Obama.

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 3:23 PM

You should fly them upside down….

(duress signal)

dentarthurdent on July 7, 2014 at 3:07 PM

That is also a good idea.

A flag flown with it’s ensign down is a distress signal, and was commonly used back before radio communications were invented.

And is America ever in distress with this Regime…

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Our language and culture are fracturing. The best business to be in is government. We’re fat. We’re tatooed. We eat junk and we’re out of shape. Our entertainment embodies banality. Our educational system is in decline. The political party of the majority sells itself on the question of “what can your country do for you?” Labor force participation is at record lows. Welfare is at record highs.

How could anyone look around at the America of 2014 and conclude anything bright is ahead of us?

SAMinVA on July 7, 2014 at 3:58 PM

We`ve been here before. Let`s not stay.

ThePrez on July 7, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Indeed, as someone said both Switzerland and Australia have their own problems. Australia is fortunate to now be under a conservative administration, but that won’t always be. Australia for example had a plan to censor 10,000 websites for porn. In Switzerland, the military or police can stop you whenever they want and demand you produce ID. Just some examples.

Faramir on July 7, 2014 at 4:54 PM

A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope.” ~Saint Pope John Paul II

pannw on July 7, 2014 at 5:42 PM

49 percent of African-Americans and 49 percent of Hispanics said they believed they would own a business in two years,

…what?

jaxisaneurophysicist on July 7, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Damn, that’s an awful lot of crack houses….

bimmcorp on July 7, 2014 at 6:27 PM

How many people think the United States still qualifies as a Super Power?

Not sure when exactly we lost Super Power status. Was it after?

- Benghazi
- Crimea
- ISIS invasion of Iraq
- Resorting to Tweets to “Bring Back our Girls”
- The inability to get a Marine who took a wrong turn out of a Mexican jail
- An invasion of the U.S. southern border by CHILDREN, who for some stupid reason we can’t just send home.

In any case, the Obama Administration seems to have thrown that old Super Power status away.

wren on July 7, 2014 at 11:21 PM

We had a good run, but the future belongs to the Independent Greater Texan Republic.

Face it, the Constitution only works if more than half the country believes it means something. Let the blue voters get everything they’re asking for, good and hard. It’s the only way they’ll learn.

TallDave on July 9, 2014 at 12:10 AM

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