Americans have long ranked among the world’s happiest people. Pollsters consistently find that in our personal lives anyway, we’re a cheery bunch.
The World Happiness Report, which counts such luminaries as economist Jeffrey Sachs among its editors, called us the 13th happiest country in the world this year. An AP poll from this past spring found that two-thirds of both Democrats and Republicans are satisfied with “their personal and family relationships, financial situations, careers, and work-life balance.”
But ask us about politics, and all bets are off. On that subject, we’re miserable. Everything about the way our country is run depresses us. The polls consistently show that somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Ask us about the presidential election, and the picture is equally bleak. The election frustrates over 70 percent of us. Most Americans feel “helpless” about the election, including over two-thirds of people under the age of 30. A Gallup survey earlier this year found that only one in threeAmericans believed the election process is working correctly, a record low.
No matter what happens Tuesday, it’s an undeniable fact that our population is now divided into two irreconcilable groups, each of which violently disbelieves in the humanity of the other.