WHAT AMERICA IS REALLY THINKING


Listening to the radio or watching television over the past few years, one would think that the American public has turned from a more or less middle-of-the-road, cooperative, equality and fairness boosting society into an isolationist, narrow minded and supremely bigoted group of selfish bullies who care about nothing and no one who doesn’t share their view of the world; or their income level.  This view of America is even more starkly illustrated on those conservative online web sites, news outlets and blogs.  

So it came as somewhat of a surprise to me that the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal (NBC/WSJ) poll tells a very different story.  In our more rational moments, when we are not being bombarded with the latest Obama “scandal,” the dire consequences for the continued existence of the USA for not invading Syria and not re-invading Iraq, or the industry destroying EPA regulations that threaten to wipe out approximately 226,000,000 domestic jobs, (the number varies between Rush and Fox so this is an average number but it could be half a billion jobs; who knows?) it is calming to recall that just two years ago our President was re-elected to a second term with a comfortable margin of 5 million popular votes and 332 electoral college votes to Romney’s 206, a margin of 126 votes.   And this despite the most viscous right wing propaganda campaign against a President since Bill Clinton got the same treatment back in the 1990’s and despite Citizen’s United unleashing of tons of anonymous money into our political system.  

Here is a summary of what the poll reveals about us:

General Conclusion: the Tea Party is in a very different place than the majority of Americans on several hot-button issues, Common Core, immigration, EPA and climate change.  And, not only are the Tea Party folks way out of line when it comes to the general population they are even at odds with their own Republican Party members.  

 Common Core: Do You Support or Oppose Common Core?

Republican Tea Party Supporters:  Disapprove: 74%.  Approve: 23%
Non Tea Party Republicans: Disapprove:  47%.  Approve: 50%
Country At Large: Disapprove: 39%.  Approve: 57%

Immigration: Does Immigration Help or Hurt the United States?

Republican Tea Party Supporters:  Hurt:  68%.  Help: 19%
Non Tea Party Republicans:  Hurt: 47%.  Help: 40%
Country At Large:  Hurt: 42%.  Help: 47%


Greenhouse Gases (EPA):  Do You Approve or Disapprove of Proposal to Reduce Greenhouse Gasses? 


Republican Tea Party Supporters:  Disapprove: 74%. Approve: 23%
Non-Tea Party Republicans:  Disapprove: 47%. Approve: 50%
Country At Large:  Disapprove: 39%. Approve: 57%

Climate Change: What to Do About Climate Change?

Republican Tea Party Supporters:  

Global warming is unwarranted:  39%
Don’t know enough:  38%
Some action should be taken:  16%
Serious, needs immediate action:  6%

Non-Tea Party Republicans:

Unwarranted: 7%
Don’t know enough: 31%
Some action: 43%
Serious/immediate action:  17%  

Country At Large:

Unwarranted:  13%
Don’t know enough:  24%
Some action:  30%
Serious/immediate action:  31%

Note that in each case if you eliminate the poll figures for the Republican Tea Party Supporters, the result looks pretty much like this: “Yes there are some differences between how Republicans and the public at large see these issues, but the difference in results (and let’s say positions, views and attitudes) is not all that great.”  In fact, until the rise of the Tea Party and Big Anonymous Campaign Donors, the results look pretty much how we thought the American public would fall out on these issues absent the Tea Party radicals.  In fact, let me do just that:

Common Core: Do You Support or Oppose Common Core?

Non Tea Party Republicans: Disapprove:  47%.  Approve: 50%
Country At Large: Disapprove: 39%.  Approve: 57%

Immigration: Does Immigration Help or Hurt the United States?

Non Tea Party Republicans:  Hurt: 47%.  Help: 40%
Country At Large:  Hurt: 42%.  Help: 47%

       Greenhouse Gases (EPA):  Do You Approve or Disapprove of Proposal to Reduce Greenhouse Gasses? 

Non-Tea Party Republicans:  Disapprove: 47%. Approve: 50%
Country At Large:  Disapprove: 39%. Approve: 57%

Climate Change: What to Do About Climate Change?

Non-Tea Party Republicans:

Global warming is unwarranted: 7%
Don’t know enough: 31%
Some action should be taken: 43%
Needs serious/immediate action:  17%  

Country At Large:

Unwarranted:  13%
Don’t know enough:  24%
Some action:  30%
Serious/immediate action:  31%


Now the picture is clearer.  Sure there are differences and I’m sure the differences might be even greater if Liberal Democrats and/or Progressives were also polled as discrete groups but it seems to me that without all the Tea Party Boloney Style Propaganda, we see a country that is not so divided as we might have thought, one that agrees on important issues much more than we disagree and an America that resembles what we all thought it looked like before this awful Tea Party Plague was unleashed upon us.  

But this is no reason not to vote in this year’s elections.  The Tea Party is still a divisive, dangerous force in American politics.  Look what happened to Eric Cantor. I mean, he wasn't "conservative enough" for the Tea Party? 

Damn!!!

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