Since Barack Obama took office, more Americans than ever view the federal government as “corrupt” and are angry at what is happening in Washington.
The shocking results from a recent Gallup survey found that while two-thirds of Americans thought there was “widespread corruption” throughout the government in 2009 – the year President Obama took office – that number has shot up to three in four – or 75 percent.
As noted by Breitbart, this isn’t just Western cynicism of government. In most European states, citizens have a much more favorable view of their government.
This plays into the candidacy of outsiders like Donald Trump, whose supporters are overwhelmingly angry with their government.
Among Trump supporters, 97 percent said they are dissatisfied with the country’s governance and 91 percent said they were “somewhat angry.”
So will those angry Trump voters go to the polls? History says no – the dissatisfied and angry tend to stay away on Election Day. In 2014, only 36 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot. But this year may be different, as the Gallup CEO notes:
“The perception that there’s widespread corruption in the national government could be a symptom of citizen disengagement and anger,” Jim Clifton writes. “Or it could be a cause — we don’t know. But it’s very possible this is a big, dark cloud that hangs over this country’s progress. And it might be fueling the rise of an unlikely, non-traditional leading Republican candidate for the presidency, Donald Trump.
“[T]he economy isn’t growing nearly fast enough — it’s been running at an average rate of 2% since the 2008 financial collapse and the Great Recession. Just to compare, following the recession of 1981-1982, GDP grew for six years at 4.5% — one of our greatest economic eras in history.
“Jobs haven’t come back. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of the total adult population that has a full-time job has been hovering around 48% since 2010 — the lowest full-time employment level since 1983. This is why the middle class has been dangerously shrinking.
“You don’t have to connect too many dots to conclude that if a government has an alarmingly high appearance of widespread corruption — and that same government creates regulations that businesses cite as a leading barrier to growth — then entrepreneurs might be reluctant to stick their necks out to start a business. Or to boom the businesses they already have.
“Why would they start or boom a business if they think a corrupt government is creating rules and regulations that don’t serve their interests — but rather rules that serve the interests of corrupt officials, corrupt politicians, corrupt insiders and corrupt special interest groups?
“Any wonder why so many Americans want a candidate who’s outside of that system?”
Every election is usually described as the “most crucial” in our nation’s political history. A little hyperbole to get people engaged is understandable. This election, however, may live up to the traditional billing.