Tom Purcell, 10/5/2015 [Archive]

The Decline of American Greatness

By Tom Purcell

"I'm fed up with politics and the country is going down the drain."

"Ah, yes, you speak of a recent Bloomberg Politics poll that found, according to AP, that 75 percent of Americans are fed up with politics and 72 percent think their country isn't as great as it once was. No wonder more than a third of Americans prefer a presidential candidate without experience in public office."

"Hey, Donald Trump may be a braggart and a loudmouth, but there's a reason he's striking a chord. He's telling the truth about the mess the country is in. He appears to be genuine about his desire to fix it. And unlike our political class, which is ignoring our debt, deficit, messy tax system and a million other issues, he sounds like a guy who will actually do something."

"Your frustration is understandable. Americans on both sides of the political aisle are fed up with politics as usual. Republicans are favoring Trump and Ben Carson with Carly Fiorina coming in just behind Jeb Bush in the polls. Bernie Sanders, a self-identified socialist, continues to grow in the polls against Hillary Clinton. Americans sure are tired of the same old same old."

"The experts tell us it is a bad idea to elect a president who has little or no political experience. When you look at the last six years under President Obama, who had a paper-thin resume and never ran any large organization, they have a point. I thought he was going to bring people together and work across the political aisle to get things done?"

"I forgot he made such promises. Regrettably, our president is not a natural leader. At home, he has been unwilling or unable to engage the Congress and get things done. Abroad, his foreign policy is a mess. The Middle East is a runaway train. Vladimir Putin is cleaning Obama's clock."

"Yeah, well, I'm still willing to risk putting Trump in the White House. No small number of thoughtful, intelligent Republicans agree with me — despite being mocked for our support. Like him or hate him, he gets things done."

"Your point is well taken. According to Bloomberg, '37 percent of Americans say they're more drawn to a presidential candidate who is a government outsider but who has also been a leader, handled complex issues, and managed teams to get things done.' Roughly half of Republicans surveyed prefer outsider candidates."

"Which is why Carly Fiorina is rising in the polls. She is one smart cookie and her no-nonsense answers during the last few debates resonate with me. Like Trump, she is worried that we're heading down the tubes and she wants to roll up her sleeves to turn the country around."

"Her appeal makes sense when you consider that 66 percent of Americans think the nation is headed in the wrong direction. What's worse is that 47 percent think America is 'falling behind,' while 25 percent think the country is outright 'failing.'"

"We are failing. Most people sense it. And like a third of those polled believe, moral decay and a lagging work ethic are driving our failure. The middle class is struggling to get ahead. And the well-to-do are increasing their wealth by big numbers as low interest rates fuel the stock market. I'd never vote for Bernie Sanders, but I can understand the appeal he has to some people as disparities between the rich and the rest of us grow."

"Well, at least there was one silver lining found in the Bloomberg poll."

"What's that?"

"Fifty-three percent of the respondents agree that, so far, the 2016 campaign has been entertaining!"

——-

© 2015 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of "Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood" and "Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!" is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, contact Sales@cagle.com or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at Tom@TomPurcell.com.



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