A recent survey by Gallup looks at what Americans feel is the most important problem facing their nation, a question that Gallup has been asking Americans since 1939. Let's take a look at the results which may not be a surprise some of my readers.
Here are the top ten problems facing the United States according to Americans:
1.) The Government/Poor Leadership/Politicians - 35 percent
2.) Immigration - 19 percent
3.) Healthcare - 6 percent
4.) Race Relations/Racism - 5 percent
5.) Unifying the Country - 4 percent
6.) Poverty/Hunger/Homelessness - 4 percent
7.) Environment/Pollution - 3 percent
8.) Ethics/Morals/Religious/Family Decline - 3 percent
9.) Federal Budget Deficit/Federal Debt - 3 percent
10.) Economy in General - 3 percent
According to Gallup, Americans have been increasingly likely to name the government and its leadership as the greatest problem facing the United States over the past ten years as shown on this graphic:
When breaking down the verbatim responses from the 35 percent of respondents who felt that government was the biggest problem, we find the following specific problems:
1.) Government gridlock and lack of cooperation - 18 percent
2.) Donald Trump - 11 percent
3.) Democrats/Liberals - 5 percent
4.) Congress - 1 percent
Since Gallup began asking respondents about the most important problem facing America back in 2001, few other issues have exceeded the 35 percent of Americans who currently feel that their government is the biggest problem facing their nation. In fact, here three of the issues that have exceeded the 35 percent figure:
1.) After the attack of September 11, 2001, 46 percent of Americans believed that terrorism was the greatest problem (October 2001).
2.) During and after the financial crisis in 2008, 58 percent of Americans believed that the economy was the greatest problem (November 2008).
3.) In the aftermath of the Great Recession, 39 percent of Americans believed that unemployment/jobs were the greatest problem (September 2011).
Despite the political polarization that has gripped Washington and the nation as a whole, both Republicans and Democrats are likely to name government as America's biggest problem as shown here:
Some of the problems mentioned most frequently are Donald Trump (by Democrats and independents), Democrats/Liberals (by Republicans) and roughly half of both Republicans, Democrats and independents that point to the government as the biggest problem cite gridlock and a lack of bipartisanship and cooperation.
Unfortunately, the current occupiers of the hallowed halls of Washington believe that it is in the best interest of both themselves personally and their political party to ramp up the political rhetoric and further divide an already politically polarized nation. Until Washington makes significant changes in its approach to the voting public, there will continue to be growing dissatisfaction with how politicians are playing the political game and growing distrust in the state as a whole.