A picture is worth a thousand words

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The older I get, the more quickly it seems the years clip by.  It seems like it was only yesterday when year 2000 arrived, but a decade has gone by and everyone is taking a look back over the ground that’s been traversed.  The Gallup organization has done the same with its polling and has identified some key trends that have emerged from the decade as we come to a close.  I think these trends may presage a dramatic change in the political landscape as we move forward in the new decade.

The chart above depicts  satisfaction with the state of affairs in the US and as you can see, the trend shows a steady downward slope with a vast majority expressing dissatisfaction.  The chart below depicts the trends in congress’ approval rating and again, we see a steady downward slope with vast majorities disapproving congressional performance.

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The popular press has made a pretty big deal out of the drop in  Obama’s approval rating with weekly announcements as if almost cheering every point clipped off his rating, but he’s still near 50% approval, while the approval of Congress and the overall satisfaction at the state of affairs in the nation are in the dumpster.    It would appear that Obama’s approval numbers are being driven by factors that differ from those driving congressional approval ratings and the rate of satisfaction in the country’s state of affairs.

As I look at these charts, the question that comes into mind is whether the congress and the government in general still retain the consent of the people to govern.  I’d say that they don’t and this  will drive some changes over the next few years.

I think the crux of the issue revolves around the fact that the public has grown weary of the left/right paradigm and the gridlock it presents.   They’ve come to see the political parties as two sides of the same coin and that the only way to move forward is to change the coin itself.    This will drive the emergence of new political parties and not necessarily just a third party, but perhaps a fourth and fifth one as well.  With numbers like those shown in these charts, the current system is just not sustainable.

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4 Responses to “A picture is worth a thousand words”
  1. I disagree with your posting.
    Not on the facts presented but on the scope.
    The scope on the item that is being appraised.
    The scope of the people being asked.

    Here is my point:
    Chance the scope of the people being asked from “All Americans” to “Black Americans”.

    If you keep the appraisal upon “America” – this group will produce a graph that has a distortion in the plot line.

    The plot between Nov 2008 to Jan 2009 and beyond would experience a substantial jump.

    NOT because the results of their children’s education have improved

    NOT because they are measurably safer in their communities.

    NOT because their economic outcomes are better.

    The ONLY force that has changed is the election of a favorable person to them that they must “save face” on behalf of.

    All of these are merely POPULARITY CONTESTS.

    I reported about a Black woman in Georgia the day after her home flooded. In the television report she told of her distress over losing her home. She thanked the shelter hosts and THANKED PRESIDENT OBAMA. The only problem was – this was a LOCAL “first responder” effort. FEMA was able to do what it is configured to do – come in AFTER THE FACT and hand out checks for mid-term shelter or repairs to their homes. FEMA handn’t even come to the scene yet but this woman, being wise to the stakes at hand for Obama after seeing Bush attacked after Katrina – made sure she expressly thanked the new president for helping her.

    Black people can’t have our “satisfaction” keyed based on the presence of a politician or party. We have too many “ideological bigots” in our midsts that are willing to commit “jury nullification” of the results.

    I also underscore the need for a shift because as a people I am convinced that we can help this country most by HELPING OURSELVES. The increased productivity within the Black community will be averaged into the nation’s productivity.

    To appraise the Black community’s standing we must first define our key permanent interests and measure our standing compared to it:

    * Safe Streets
    * Quality Education
    * Thriving Local Economies
    * Healthy Lifestyles

    For me as an individual – the greater indictment is the fact that the present Federal government regime ALSO is in power in every single Black community (or where Blacks are 35%+ of the voting base). The synergy of policies between local and national – masks the failures that have taken place locally as the local institutions can no longer satisfy the demands of the people who put the machine into power at the local level decades ago.

    Black people need to be force to DISCONNECT our ‘racial development’ consciousness from the American Political domain and shift it over to the “Community Cultural Consciousness & Competence Domain”. The only way to do this is to manage by permanent interests not by POPULARITY .

  2. Greg L says:

    >>>>>Black people need to be force to DISCONNECT our ‘racial development’ consciousness from the American Political domain and shift it over to the “Community Cultural Consciousness & Competence Domain”. The only way to do this is to manage by permanent interests not by POPULARITY .<<<<<

    Again CF, I agree totally.

    It's really funny how we assess our progress. To be sure, many would suggest Obama's election is a measure of progress and I suppose it is if one's litmus test is whether black folks are accepted to be head of states, CEO's and etc., one would consider that a "victory". It's quite another matter to link these achievements to whether or not they positively impact upon things that really matter.

    Using the proper scales, one would find that the personal achievement of individuals does not mean that the collective have achieved much at all. This can only occur in instances where we actually shape the conditions where those in office truly are our representatives. In other words, shaping the conditions means having the power to vet and finance your representative rather than just show up and vote for him or her.

    If one has power, the hue of your representative is immateral. The only thing that matters is their accountability to you.

  3. [quote]Using the proper scales, one would find that the personal achievement of individuals does not mean that the collective have achieved much at all.[/quote]

    Here is the irony Greg:

    When Republicans are challenged about how their economic policies impact the entire nation AND they point to the few but wealthy people as their REFERENCE MODELS they face rebuke.

    Yet when the Black Establishment points to the few “Portraits Upon The Wall” of the Blacks who have been elected or who are dominant in the entertainment world – few people call them out for the same offense.

    I call this “Portrait Worshiping” where the rank and file Negro is supposed to become happy over seeing the pictures on the wall. His own depression is to be lifted.

    Then as they double down – the same elected official who “made us proud” will connect with the grievances of the people and then march past the accountability that the office which he holds should face as he leads the masses in their demonstration against the state or the federal government.

    As we “win” we “lose” even more due to this perpetual shift outward in accountability.

  4. Greg L says:

    >>>>>>Then as they double down – the same elected official who “made us proud” will connect with the grievances of the people and then march past the accountability that the office which he holds should face as he leads the masses in their demonstration against the state or the federal government. <<<<<

    CF,

    Unfortunately, our political maturity leaves us in a constant search for "justice" rather than power. Moreover, our definition of justice leaves us measuring how much has been dispensed by how much time we spend in the klieg lights or how much one is recognized as personally as a "leader".

    When one's definition of power is wholly measured by the amount of "justice" you can get someone to dispense to you, then we get what we currently have–chaos and no accountability.

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