Alan Fram and Eileen Putnam today published an article through the Associated Press that has perhaps the most dire headline I have ever read from a mainstream newspaper. Sure, conspiracy theorists often spin these kinds of stories, but the Associated Press?
Gas prices, the housing market, Iran building nukes, the war in Iraq, a heat wave, the drowning of the Midwest, marriage issues, prisoners of war actually getting to see what the Constitution actually can do for them, strange presidential election cycle . . . well, what do you think?
Is everything spinning out of control?
Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.
Horatio Alger, twist in your grave.
The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country’s sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.
The sense of helplessness is even reflected in this year’s presidential election. Each contender offers a sense of order – and hope. Republican John McCain promises an experienced hand in a frightening time. Democrat Barack Obama promises bright and shiny change, and his large crowds believe his exhortation, “Yes, we can.”
Even so, a battered public seems discouraged by the onslaught of dispiriting things. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll says a barrel-scraping 17 percent of people surveyed believe the country is moving in the right direction. That is the lowest reading since the survey began in 2003.
An ABC News-Washington Post survey put that figure at 14 percent, tying the low in more than three decades of taking soundings on the national mood.
Read the rest at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080621/ap_on_re_us/out_of_control