During the Obama presidency (still less than three years old), the number of Americans who think their country’s best days are in the future, rather than in the past, has taken a 33-point turn for the worse, according to a newly released Rasmussen poll. The weekend before President Obama took office, Americans remained optimistic — by a margin of 13 percentage points — that America’s best days were still to come: 48 percent then said America’s best days were in the future, while only 35 percent said its best days were in the past. Such optimism prevailed despite the fact that the question was asked a year into a recession and hot on the heels of a financial crisis that had resulted in Congress’s passage of a $700 billion financial bailout. Despite these worrisome events, Americans remained relatively hopeful.
Now, by a margin of 20 percentage points, Americans think their country’s best days are no longer in the future but are in the past — as only 32 percent now say America’s best days are still to come, while 52 percent say their country’s best days have passed her by. That’s a swing of 33 points (from +13 to minus-20 percent) during Obama’s tenure. Among independents, the swing is slightly greater still — 35 points (from +10 to minus-25 percent).
What has sapped the hope of so many Americans? The answer would seem to be the changes that Obama has wrought: a $787 billion “stimulus” that has stimulated only deficit spending; a failure to ensure the passage of a federal budget for the past 31 months; a $5 trillion increase in the national debt; by far the worst economic “recovery” from a lengthy recession in the past six decades; rhetoric than promotes envy rather than unity and prosperity; rhetoric that condemns, rather than celebrates, the idea of America abroad — and, of course (worst of all), Obamacare.
Yet, in truth, a great source of hope is available to us all. That hope is provided in the language of Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, which grants a president only a 4-year term in office before he is again made accountable to the American citizenry in each of the 50 states.