A new poll shows that a majority of voters have a negative view
of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the likely presidential matchup this November. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Sunday finds the opinions break down like this: Clinton: 57 percent unfavorable; 41 percent favorable; Trump: 57 percent unfavorable: 40 percent favorable.
Forty-six percent of those voters with negative views of Clinton are "strongly unfavorable," while 45 percent said the same thing about Trump, according to the poll. The Washington Post goes on to report that never in the history of the Post-ABC poll have the two major party nominees been viewed as harshly.
So how did the two least popular candidates end up becoming the finalists?
The explanation is simple: If you expect your government to do unlikable things, then you'll dislike the candidates you elect to do those things.
Consider what a majority of Americans expect their government to do. The vast majority want education funded by the federal government. Do they like the results? Not particularly. But the only solution ever offered is to throw more money at the problem.
There's never a proposal to privatize education and leave it to the accountability and innovation of the marketplace. There's talk, at times, of ending the fascist-like Common Core program or shutting down the Department of Education. But would the people really allow this to happen?
The same goes for Medicare. Do people love the present state of healthcare?
Not particularly. But don't you touch anyone's Medicare! Yes, the program is going bankrupt and is responsible for much of the rising federal debt. Medicare spends way more than it takes in; if it were a private insurance company, it would have been shut down long ago and its directors jailed for fraud.
The same goes for Social Security. But if any candidate for president even hinted at partially privatizing these programs, even for future generations, his or her unpopularity would make Trump and Clinton's look like nothing.
When you ask the government to do things it cannot competently do — and should not be doing, according to our own Constitution and Bill of Rights — then it stands to reason you will dislike the people you put in charge to do those things. Yes, you might think you want these things.
You might believe, in some vague kind of way, that the federal government "must" provide free education, free healthcare, guaranteed retirement, and all the other things that make our political system so corrupt and dysfunctional. But we can't face the truth: These programs are the problem.
Instead, we find other things to blame. We blame corrupt and indifferent politicians. Fair enough. But do most of us ever stop to consider these politicians are that way because we're asking them to do corrupt things, such as take money and property from some and give to others?
On top of which, we authorize them to raise the debt limit into infinity, something which has to result in some kind of financial disaster sooner or later?
There are plenty of legitimate complaints about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. But in a way, they're just the messengers. They're a reflection of our own evasion and ignorance, of our own refusal to face reality.
Frederic Bastiat, one of the greatest political thinkers, wrote, "Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
That's exactly what America has become. If we're to preserve and maintain that great fiction of something for nothing, we need politicians who will lie to us and steal from us.
No wonder we don't like them.
Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D., LCSW is a psychotherapist and author with a private practice in coastal Delaware. He is the author of “Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (and How to Tell the Difference).” For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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