Tag Archives: public opinion poll

Americans trust the military most. 29% are ready for a coup. Ready for fascism?

Summary: Americans’ support for key institutions of the public collapses, as we trust only the military and police. We don’t need to ask Nostradamus; we can easily see the possible consequences — if we thought about it. Internet discussions might not be the only thing that ends with fascism (Godwin’s Law), or some other form of tyranny.

Broken trust

First, the bad news

Gallup’s annual Confidence in Institutions poll shows that Americans’ support for the institutions of the Republic and our elected officials have been falling for generations  (their first poll was 1973) — except for police (the second most trusted) and the military (#1). For details see Gallup warns us to prepare for fascism!

A YouGov poll on September 2-3 confirms these findings, with more detail. Ugly details.

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Hillary is all but anointed as the nominee, but unpopular. It’s how the system runs without us.

Summary:  Hillary is all but crowned as the Democratic nominee for President, yet her low polls numbers suggest that even a moderately strong Republican candidate could defeat her. The Republicans also appear likely to nominate an unpopular candidate. If so, the 2016 will clearly show how our political system runs without us. Plus, public opinion polls provide a mirror into which we can see ourselves — and as a side-effect this polls reveals our gullibility.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

"Hillary for Oligarchy" poster

How does a Republic work if its citizens remain aloof from it politics? America seems likely to provide a demonstration, as November 2016 seems likely to give us a choice between two unpopular candidates. Unpopular to us, that is. America’s stakeholders, the people who run it while we remain on the sidelines, will love them. Today we’ll look at the anointed Democratic front-runner, to see what the polls reveal about her, about us, and about the state of the Republic.

CNN ORC opinion poll


A poll taken May 29 – 31


“Do you favorably regard politician X” goes to the bottom line of electoral politics. The results show Hillary as a polarizing figure, with both high unfavorable and small  “no opinion” levels. The current ratings are among her worst ever since Bil Clinton’s election as President.

May 2015 CNN pollMay 2015 CNN poll

Asking about the qualities that lead to a favorably opinion yields similar results, showing that the roots of her unpopularity are broad and deep.

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Who believes that the Federal government seeks to take over Texas?

Summary:  The Jade Helm military exercise has sparked an urban legend. Polls showing who believes fringe theories act as x-rays illuminating the American polity. Some of the results are expected if alarming. Some are unexpected and hence even more valuable.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

Jade Helm


  1. A funny question.
  2. Answer by ideology.
  3. The Evangelicals speak.
  4. The Tea Party speaks.
  5. Answers by age.
  6. Answers by gender.
  7. Answers by preferred candidate.
  8. Conclusions.
  9. For More Information.

(1)  A funny question

The multi-state military exercise known as Jade Helm has aroused an unusually strong reaction among elements of the public. For details see the Wikipedia entry, the Snopes page, and the Washington Post story. These went ballistic when Governor Greg Abbott directed the Texas State Guard to monitor it “to ensure that Texans’ safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed during the eight-week training period …”

In response Public Policy Polling® creatively asked an interesting question in a survey done last week. The results are amazing, and become more so when examined more closely.

Public Policy Polling, May 2014

(2) Answer by ideology

A breakdown of the answers by ideology gives a more interesting perspective. This weird theory has believers on both extremes, another example of commonality of thinking among the far Left and Right. The political spectrum is a circle, not a line.

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We have so many wars because we support them. Nothing changes until that changes.

Summary: We have found so many wars, small and large, since WWII that it’s difficult to count them. Since 9/11 we’ve accelerated our game, with our military intervening across the globe. Why are we doing this? The answer is easy to see, as this post shows.   {2nd of 2 posts today.}

Personal note: Years ago I talked with one of the designers of Africom, who told me it would become one of DoD’s growth areas. I thought he was daft. They did 546 military “activities” during 2014.

Bombs for Peace


  1. We’re usually excited about the next war!
  2. We love the war once it starts!
  3. Which is the war party?
  4. The people responsible for this situation.
  5. For More Information.


(1)  We’re usually excited about the next war!

How many Americans supported our military actions before they began? We turn to Gallup to see our history.  Strong support after 9/11 to invade Afghanistan; moderate for Iraq #1; low for Kosovo, Syria and Iraq #2. Gallup described the return to Iraq as “direct military action in Iraq to support the Iraqi government against militants there.”

Gallup polls: support before eachwar

(2)  We love the war once it starts!

Shepherds don’t poll the flock before deciding what to do. Nor do our leaders care about our opinion when starting wars, except with the opposition so strong that we might strike back at the ballot box.

Let’s look at the past 30 years of Americans’ support of wars after our leaders have started them. Strong except for Grenada and Kosovo (over 50%) and Libya (under 50%).  Gallup described our latest intervention as “military action the US is taking in Iraq and Syria against Islamic militants, commonly known as ISIS.” S

Gallup’s surveys show that support varies by how closely the question matches the public’s “hot” button (as carefully produced by propaganda). Pavlov’s dogs responded to a bell, not a buzzer or gong.

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Government officials’ lies erode the Republic’s foundation. Do we care?

Summary: Today we look at a vital indicator showing the decay of the Republic and point to the guilty parties. Our leaders lie to us, often and about serious matters. The price paid by them and us has come due. How we pay it will help determine our future.

“Never believe anything about the government until it has been officially denied.”
— Attributed to Bismarck. Lies from government are not new.


  1. Another day, another lie.
  2. List the big lies.
  3. The most important poll.
  4. What comes next?
  5. For More Information

(1) Another day, another lie.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, 20 February 2015

And our view continues to be that political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal. We do not support a political transition in Venezuela by non-constitutional means.

She doubled down on March 10, saying “despite the statements to the contrary from Venezuelan officials, we are not promoting instability in Venezuela. Rather we believe respect for democratic norms and human rights is the best guarantee of Venezuela’s stability.”

This is quite false. The US has assisted — sometimes taking the lead — in overthrowing scores of elected governments since 1900. A large fraction of these were elected leaders who advocated policies the US government did not like. That tradition continues up to the 2014 coup d’état in Ukraine following its President signing a trade treaty with the US instead of the EU.

As for “democratic norms and human rights”, US allies outside Europe have often been short on these. For details visit one of our closest allies, the land run by the Saudi Princes.

Realpolitic justifies alliances with nations having political systems we find disgusting. There are too few angels on Earth to guarantee our safety (and they might not choose to ally with us). Our hypocrisy is quite amazing. But that’s not the subject of this post.

During WWII our leaders routinely lied to us, justified by military necessity. After WWII they continued to do so, ever more frequently and boldly. They considered this wise, reinforcing the distinction between the inner party who knows the truth and the outer party that believes the lies (the proles remain uncaring and ignorant). It worked for decades.

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So many scandals in the US military: signs of rot or reform?

Summary: This morning’s post looked at the unprecedented number of scandals involving senior officers of the US military. Here we examine its significance and causes. Much depends on understanding what’s happening, and responding correctly. {2nd of 2 posts today.}

“Each of us must rededicate ourselves to upholding the principles of sound leadership… Our culture must exemplify both professional excellence and ethical judgment.”
— Letter from SecDef Hagel to US military’s senior leadership, 13 March 2013

Rotten Peach


Rot in the military

Surveys in the late 1990s confirmed that the military’s retention rates resulted from a kind of internal rot as troops lost confidence in their officers. The Chief of Staff of the Army’s Leadership Survey 2000 concluded (CAPs in the original):

Top-down loyalty DOES NOT EXIST. Senior leaders will throw subordinates under the bus in a heartbeat to protect or advance their career.

The wars after 9/11 — enemies to fight, higher pay, more deployments — masked these problems. Now they reappear as that pressure fades. To see the results, in December 2014 the Military Times published a survey of 2,300 active-duty troops asking them about their lives, and compared the results with their 2009 survey. Even over only 5 years the deterioration was rapid.

Overall officers in the military are:

  • 2009 – 78% good or excellent.
  • 2014 – 49% good or excellent.

The senior military leadership has my best interests at heart:

  • 2009 – 53% agreed.
  • 2014 – 27% agreed.

The flood of disciplinary actions against senior officers during the past 5 years shows the scale of the problem. Nobody seems to understand the underlying problem, and the military has not (publicly, at least) shown data explaining if this is a surge of enforcement (i.e., reform) or a surge of bad behavior (i.e., a rot grown so large it can no longer be hidden).

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Are government unemployment numbers a “big lie”?

Summary: Today we look at an example of a recurring myth on the Right, that nothing the government does can be trusted. It’s part of their long and highly successful program to delegitimatize our government (and unions too). These are the major institutions through which we can collectively resist the power of the 1%; without them we’re powerless atoms. Now the CEO of Gallup pitches dust in our eyes. {1st of 2 posts today}

Myth busted!

A hot story on the Right about about a sad number: “The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment” by Jim Clifton (CEO of Gallup), 3 February 2015. It’s a disgraceful article for a CEO of a major company — and ironical for the CEO of Gallup. Red emphasis added. Excerpt:

Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

… There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

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