I have to say that I'm really fond of the actual next big thing on the Things We Hate List. Because politicians are now even more feared than the crappy Economy they helped to create! Granted, only 18% of those polled by Gallup actually consider our elected leaders to be problematic, but that is huge compared to the mere two percent who still list terrorism as the top thing to be terrorized about. And that should really scare the despised politicians, who rely on fear fomentation to keep the proles in line.
Here are the complete results:
As you can see, there is virtually no agreement on what should concern us the most. I suspect, though, that most people would agree that being called by pollsters during the dinner hour can be considered universally problematic, especially since most "polls" are simply marketing ploys in disguise. I noticed that Gallup asked no questions about the total failure of the FTC's Do Not Call program.
And how about that section titled "War/Wars (non-specific)"? People apparently were not permitted to be nuanced about, say, their approval of the 30 Years War as opposed to the current Forever Wars. As a matter of fact, the Gallup pollsters seem to assume that just because President Obama "responsibly" ended the Afghanistan War by leaving only thousands of soldiers behind, and is only dribbling back troops to Iraq in mission-creep piecemeal fashion, we are basking in some sort of Orwellian Pax Americana.
Since we can't agree on what to loathe, the pollsters glibly conclude that everything is calm amidst the blight. The sum of all fears effectively cancels each one out.
With unemployment and gas prices falling, the U.S. not being involved in any major wars and scaling back operations in Afghanistan, and no acts of domestic terrorism occurring, the factors that have caused Americans to converge on a single pressing concern in the past simply weren't present in 2014. Rather, as mentions of the economy and unemployment have dwindled since 2012, mentions of healthcare and government leadership have grown to join them, forming a set of comparably sized, moderate-level concerns that now define the public's view of what ails the nation.
Not only was this the average picture in 2014, but it remained the state of affairs in the last quarter, suggesting 2015 is starting on a similarly calm note. That is underscored by the significant improvement in the Gallup Economic Confidence Index in late December, reaching positive territory for the first time since before 2008.So that last bit about consumer confidence should make the despised politicians a little happier. The Dems' Hooveresque propaganda campaign about prosperity being just around the corner seems to be working.
But how will the muddled poll results affect the messaging of the detested politicians? How, most importantly, will they affect "the narrative" of Jeb and Hillary's Neoliberal Death Match?
The dispersion of public concern seen in 2014 may also have implications for the 2016 presidential election. Should it persist, the lack of a single defining public issue could make candidates' task of honing a message for the election more complex.I guess, like the population they aim to fool, they'll "hone" their message on whatever topic is trending on any given day. They'll talk about whatever the corporate media stenographers tell us to care about, cancelling themselves and us out in the process.
As long as we're on the subject of meaningless polls, I'll add to the current listicle frenzy by pointing you to the most despised words of 2014, as compiled in the frozen north by Lake Superior State University. Here's a synopsis of what should be banned:
BAE ("before anyone else"): I have to admit that I'd never even heard of this one.
Polar Vortex: the top-trending euphemism for Winter, making Jack Frost and Old Man jealous. I don't understand why it wasn't included in the Gallup Poll. They never even mentioned what we really should be afraid of -- and that is Climate Change.
Hack: the gripe is with the misuse of this word, as in "life hack." I still plan to use it liberally when describing loathed politicians and sycophantic journalists.
Skill Set: banned for redundancy. You have a skill or skills, period. Similar in annoyance to "mindset."
Swag: banned for its catch-all quality. It's a lazy verbal tic similar to "um" and "American exceptionalism."
Foodie: what took them so long to ban this one?
Curate/Curated: it used to mean something to do with a museum. Now, everything is curated. The NSA doesn't collect your emails and phone conversations, it merely curates them as valuable works of art. The word is also used to justify copying and pasting entire articles on one's blog. If you "curate" someone else's work, you cannot possibly be accused of theft or plagiarism. You just dug it up somewhere to put in your own vanity museum.
Friend-Raising: typifies the mass marketization and dehumanization of life itself.
Cra-Cra: that is just craaaazy, dude!
Enhanced Interrogation: here's looking at you, New York Times.
Takeaway: not food for foodies, but a trendy word for "conclusion." As in, "what's your takeaway on the stupid Gallup poll?"
-Nation: another long-overdue one, in which loathed and insufferable people add "nation" after themselves or their organization. As in HillaryNation or FoxNation or ObamaNation. It's a real abomination.