But the single most damning polling result doesn’t mention Obama or his administration or even government in general. Rather, it’s the collapse of intergenerational optimism that had characterized American attitudes and driven the American spirit of achievement for more than half a century.

Only 12 percent of Americans believe their “quality of life” is worse today than when their parents were their age, but nearly half (44 percent) believe their children will be worse off than them. Worse yet, 57 percent believe their children will “inherit a worse America.” Once the most hopeful nation on the globe, we are now a pessimistic nation to our core.