The state of the union is obstreperous. Dyspepsia is the new equilibrium. All the passion in American politics is oppositional. The American people know what they don't like, which is: everything. Consider the poll last week by The Washington Post and ABC News. People were asked a standard question about how much confidence they had in President Obama to "make the right decisions" for the nation's future. A majority — 53 percent — gave the two most dismal of the four possible responses: "just some" and "none at all." The same question had been asked a year earlier; in just 12 months, the "none at all" camp had tripled, from 9 percent to 27 percent. We are at a strange moment: a crescendo in American anger even as the man in the White House hums along in a state of preternatural equanimity. Obama, who will take over prime-time television Wednesday night for his annual address to Congress, has seen such a drastic erosion of popularity that he may get only about 35 or 40 standing ovations instead of the usual 50 or so. – Washington Post
Dominant Social Theme: From our point of view, here in DC, America has gone nuts.
Free-Market Analysis: What is the Washington Post on about in this article entitled, "The Audacity of Nope?" This is certainly an obtuse article from our point of view. With all that is taking place in the US, how can the Post find American dissatisfaction incomprehensible? The nation that once proudly sported the moniker "exceptional" is as oppressed as any fiefdom in Europe. Taxes for many are punitive. The currency is rapidly traveling toward worthless. There is endless war for endless peace, ever-growing military and civil governance and a growing rich/poor gap that used to be the exclusive provenance of third-world countries. Here's some more from the article:
The Againstness Epidemic has been years in the making. Individual strains of opposition have been cultivated in the petri dishes of special interest groups, religious fundamentalists, blogs, cable TV shows, talk radio, fringe subcultures (birthers, truthers, tea partiers). They feed into, and are fed by, entrenched industries of disagreeableness (fossil fuel companies, labor unions, the Chamber of Commerce, Rush Limbaugh). We live in a country in which being contrarian now means advocating a mainstream initiative. The orthodox view among pundits is that Americans have lost faith in government. That argument masks a deeper truth: Americans have also lost faith in pundits. Also in orthodox views.
We had to read the article about four times because we couldn't believe it was bluntly stating that the Chamber of Commerce was "disagreeable." But it was! So what are we to do with such articles? This obtuseness must be specially reserved for the Post and other DC-centric publications. Are they still read and believed by those who call DC home? Do such readers really believe that the rest of the country is simply engaged in a tantrum that can be encapsulated by the terse negativity of "nope?"
Let's look a little more at how the Post analyzes the phenomenon (if we can bear to): "The political winds are gusting, and in no particular direction … The Republican minority has been accused of having no message other than ‘No.' As if that weren't a winning message. As if we lived in an era when the things people were in favor of were more numerous than the things they were against. … Today, the nays have it."
The nays have it! We dissent in every way with this facile analysis. What is going on is that citizens of America – and even throughout the Western world – are waking up from a century-long sleep (at the least) in which the memes of the power elite virtually defined one's internal existence and external reality. Today, thanks to the Internet – as it was with the Gutenberg press – people are becoming energized and taking the initiative in discovering new ways of thinking and doing.
It is most facile to say that simply because "things are bad," people are angry. Something much more important is going on. The mainstream press – as represented by this article – remains a hopeless case. The Washington Post, in fact, is showing plenty of signs of stress. Bureaus have closed, readership has dropped. Analysis like this doesn't exactly help its cause, we would argue.
If the august reporters and editors of the Post think that what is occurring now is simply a time of negativism, we would like to make the case that the reality is exactly the reverse. Today is a time of renewed freedom, of economic literacy, of the acceptance of human action over the bogus blandishments of the Nanny state. Today is the beginning of the era of "yup."