You know how you look in the mirror and it doesn't feel like you've changed, but when you think back over the past decade, you barely recognize the person you once were? (or was that just TMI?) Well, so it goes for us as a country.
Eight years of GWB rambled by...and now, here we are with our celebu-prez, whose hopeful luminescence seems to fade with each passing Harris Poll (the most recent approval rating is a meager 43% positive, compared to a semi-radiant, out-of-the-gate 55% back in March). And it's not just the name of our President that has changed --- so have we and our priorities.
According to the latest Harris Poll, today, in November 2009:
- We cite health care as the top issue for the government to address, when it was third a decade ago;
- The economy in general and JOBS in particular are also at the top of our list, when not even 10% of the adult population considered these issues a top priority ten years ago; and,
- While war and Social Security may still be priorities to us now, it's certainly not with the same significance as in the recent past.
Paul Krugman of the NY Times wrote today that the urgency behind finding jobs as a policy priority has all but vanished, despite the economic recovery having yet to trickle down to employed and unemployed Main Street Americans (such as the 24% who flag "jobs" as the key priority facing our government right now). This is just my ineloquent paraphrase of his editorial, but it does highlight an interesting gap between the people and the administration (and what, how, and how well we address key issues).
And it may help explain some of the current frustration with Obama's policy proposals and his declining approval rating... More on this tomorrow...