Even as the rest of the world begins to hate us a bit less, we still aren’t happy. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, by and large, Americans are bitter, angry, cranky, bitchy, distrustful, and cantankerous. And then there’s the acid reflux.
According to the report, we’ve found ourselves in a veritable “perfect storm” of government-hating conditions, what with “a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials.”
Not only are we hostile about the government, we’re hating on pretty much all institutions to some degree or another. Of federal institutions, we are most okay with the Postal Service (83 percent) — until they stop delivering our mail on Saturdays and/or somebody else goes postal.
Further, we think the following non-federal institutions are going up shit creek and taking us with them:
• Banks (69 percent hating)
• National news media (57 percent hating)
• Entertainment (51 percent hating)
• Labor unions (49 percent hating)
Most people (68 percent), however, seem to like, even adore, tech companies. We can thank the iPad for that.
In terms of government, we don’t just hate, we’re also threatened: 43 percent of Republicans (compared to 18 percent of Democrats) consider the federal government a major threat to them, and 57 percent of Tea Partiers feel that way. Just 22 percent of people feel trust for the Obama administration.
And while we’ve always been rather frustrated with government, now we’re angry at unprecedented levels: 21 percent in 2010 compared to 12 percent in 1997.
despite the frustration most Americans feel with government, a majority of the public (56 percent) says that if they had a child just getting out of school they would like to see him or her pursue a career in government; 70 percent say the government is a good place to work, unchanged from October 1997.
So people are either putting their future hopes on the children of America… or they want a nice, steady government job to chillax in until the economy improves and we can all stop hating so much. Frankly, it’s bad for our frown lines.