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State of the Nation – Anxious

Nation

We all have sources of hope – faith, family, friends, work, nature, creative ventures. That said, the State of America is – in a word – anxious. The good news is we are collectively strong, always come through, and look out for each other. The bad news is we are in a vexed mood.

If you think you are the only one worried about our culture, economy, moral compass, public health, safety, where we are going, whether we appreciate history, are educating kids properly, are responding to illegality – drugs, aliens, riots, crimethink again. You are not alone.

National polls show we are unified in anxiety. What are the facts, implications, sources of hope in this odd national moment? To address our national mood – knowing leading facts helps.

Most Americans are concerned about the future, 95 percent “concerned,” 61 percent “a great deal.”  Some of that is political, but the gamut is wide, economic and social to moral, legal, and national security. See, e.g., The vast majority of Americans are concerned about the current state of the country, a new Insider poll shows.

Slicing data for insight, many Americans want to see less government intrusion, with support for government problem-solving down 11 percent, down among Independents by 18 percent. See, e.g., Americans Revert to Favoring Reduced Government Role.

Most Americans see a nation in conflict with itself. Pew found “nine-in-ten” see different political persuasions in conflict, less understanding. “Seven-in-ten” see ethnic and racial conflict as a “serious problem.” See. e.g., Americans see stronger societal conflicts than people in other advanced economies.

Other measures of angst relate to satisfaction. Gallup found 75 percent of respondents are “dissatisfied” for all sorts of reasons.  Some worry over health, others crime, still others debt, terrorism, education, and climate. See, Satisfaction With the United States; 3. Americans’ views of the problems facing the nation.

Interestingly, we are not unified on our “number one” problem, with Gallup scattering us widely. Only 16 percent think our biggest problems are economic. See, Most Important Problem.

Clearly, the prime mover was COVID – affecting perceptions of health, safety, economy, confidence, and contentment – a big source of public skittishness and disaffection.  

A recent Harris poll found two stressors top the others, 81 percent worried for “the future of the country” and 80 percent over the “pandemic.”  Roughly 74 percent worry about “political unrest,” 11 other worries follow. See, What Americans are most stressed about.

Apparently, we are also getting irascible or acting out.  Airlines are seeing “a dramatic increase” in misbehavior, 2,500 “increasingly violent and dangerous” incidents recorded. See, e.g., Four Reasons In-Flight Airline Incidents Are Increasing.

Meantime, cities are experiencing high crime, including a 33 percent increase in homicides last year. The blame goes to racial violence, defunding police, economic worries, joblessness, and COVID isolation. See, e.g., The US saw significant crime rise across major cities in 2020. And it’s not letting up; We don’t know why violent crime is up but we know there’s more than one cause.

Narrowing things, city dwellers are probably more anxious about COVID and crime (due to population density), rural, conservative, older Americans more stressed by federal overreach, constitutional violations, national debt, spending, and health care. See, e.g., Yahoo! News COVID-19 Vaccination Survey.

Responses to worry are epic – fight or flight, engagement to reduce worry, or withdrawal. Data seems to support both reactions.  Conservatives are rising to fight constitutional challenges, border insecurity, police cuts, overspending, and Critical Race Theory, but on the other end, record numbers are quitting, retiring, and disengaging. See, e.g., Americans are quitting jobs at record rates, while job openings tick down.

Some anxiety causes hide in plain sight.  COVID drove people to social media, which tends to drive people apart as often as together. In 2021, Pew recorded 84 percent of adults from 18 to 29 use social media, 81 percent from 30 to 49, and 73 percent from 50 to 64.  At the same time, many view social media as a propagator of negativity. See, Social Media Use in 2021; Poll: Americans give social media a clear thumbs-down.

Other indicia are interesting.  Mental health hotlines lit up last year, rising with domestic abuse and drug overdoses.  Mental health calls in March 2020 were 891 percent higher than prior years, domestic violence interventions and drug overdoses were both high. See, e.g., CDC: Suicides decreased in 2020; Alarming trends in US domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic; The Drug Overdose Toll in 2020 and Near-Term Actions for Addressing It.

A direct measure of mood comes from the American Psychiatric Association, which reports 41 percent are more anxious in 2021 than 2020, 60 percent more anxious in 2020 than 2019, and then 53 percent are anxious about the mental health of their children. See, New APA Poll Shows Sustained Anxiety Among Americans; More than Half of Parents are Concerned About the Mental Well-being of Their Children; The State Of Mental Health In America; APA: U.S. Adults Report Highest Stress Level Since Early Days of the COVID-19 Pandemic .

So, where is hope? Everywhere – as Americans still care about Americans. Three times the number of Americans think things will get back to normal as a year ago. We seem to increasingly see the glass as half full – not entirely, but not half empty. See, e.g., Americans may be ready to move past Delta.  

Suicides are surprisingly down, charitable giving up – reaching 471 billion – and we are getting active in changing the mood.  Parents are especially active, affirming that people are prepared to address national issues at the local level, not let national media define life. See, e.g. Why Suicides Have Decreased During the COVID-19 Pandemic; Giving USA 2021: In a year of unprecedented events and challenges, charitable giving reached a record $471.44 billion in 2020; The Parent-led Education Movement Can No Longer Be Ignored; New poll finds overwhelming number of Americans worried about what is being taught in US schools.

Bottom line: Anxiety is endemic in societies, as in individuals, rising and falling with events, reduced by sources of hope. We have a concern, but a reservoir of resilience, proven sources of hope – faith, family, friends, work, nature, creativity. The good news is the American People are collectively strong and always have been – when we look out for each other.

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Stephen Lykins
16 days ago

“State of the Nation – Anxious” Seems like a contender for understatement of the year!

HocasPocas
17 days ago

Amen to that Mr. Charles. Faith, family, friends and the American way will always provide hope.

Kevin S
18 days ago

I’d wish for the entire set of media promulgators, both corporate and social to lose their networks.
Broadcast networks lose their satellite distributions, social media to lose their servers.
MAKE people get information the hard way, not the pablum feed as is now.
Unfortunately common sense & critical thinking have gone the way of manners & courtesy.
I’m more than suspecting our entrance to the “End of Days”

Amber
19 days ago

Maybe I am alone in my thinking. I don’t think the majority of people in this country are anxious. I think we’re flat out ticked off! About everything! For one thing, why does everything have to be reduced to some form of mental disorder “Anxiety” ? Like we’re all diseased. People are upset, depressed, sad, angry and worried because of what the current administration, the Dramacrats and the media are doing and trying to do to our country! All the garbage and lies being shoved down our throats with constant repetition is disgusting Commercials 24/7 implying you’re either constipated, physically or mentally ill, or you don’t know what sex you are and if you do, you’re wrong! For heaven’s sake, you can’t even complement a woman wearing a nice outfit without being accused of being sexist. No matter how poor you are or the difficulties in your life, if you’re white, you are priveledged and racist. If you love motown music and have a black friend but you’re white, then you’re trying to fit in where you don’t belong. If you are black and conservative, you are a white sepremacist-“WHAT?!!”and if you are a woman who loves being a woman and still like men who are men, well then you’re just plain mentally ill. No wonder our young adults in college don’t know the meaning of facism, who the vp is, what sex they are, what the climate cycles were a 100 years ago and not paying for college now means they’ll pay one way or another eventually. We are all being gaslighted and purposely divided and pitted against eachother. I am not anxious, I’m pissed off, and for a lot of damn good reasons and not ashamed to say so. If that means I have some mental problem or am a social reject, so be it, but I’m not anxious.

Mario Capparuccini
18 days ago
Reply to  Amber

Very well said. Thank you. I am pissed off too!

Jesse F Tiede
19 days ago

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face! And the cares of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glorious face…

Beverly
19 days ago

I worry about USA. WHO will write our obituary hopefully not a party who is taking us down. This is who Americans chose. I also remember him saying would get rid of coal, oil & rise taxes etc. So why are we surprised?

Kevin S
18 days ago
Reply to  Beverly

Sorry, the “chose” has a GREAT deal of doubt surrounding it, some of which is now being proven.

johnh
19 days ago

This week, Biden stated Infrastructure Bill has +$7B to put in electric charges somewhere in USA. Does this mean the govt. is going to pay for electricity needed & the upkeep & land purchase of these areas. Lastly, hope they use common sense on location & do not put charging stations in the middle of a big city or an already busy area of traffic.

herblady
19 days ago
Reply to  johnh

? has this administration done anything so far that’s common sense. yet you ask if they plan to apply common sense to this electricity??? try frankspeech/lindelltv(.com) Brannon Howse is great at 1pm CT & 7pmCT, also he has WorldViewWeekend (.com) site. TV Media is just not going to give you the truth & facts. lol, if your not interested.

PaulE
19 days ago
Reply to  johnh

What’s wrong JohnH? Don’t you approve of how the guy you voted, Senile old Joe Biden, is planning on spending the taxpayers’ money? The information about the billions being allocated for charging stations has been out there for months. That is if you read or watched anything other than CNN, MSNBC or the other MSM networks, that don’t focus on actual details and just concentrate on pushing the Democrat narrative.

Virtually all spending decisions related to everything in this so-called infrastructure bill are being made in Washington, D.C.. With clueless Pete Buttigieg, the unqualified former Mayor from Indiana and now playing Secretary of Transportation, running the show. It’s a $1.2 trillion dollar pork and political pay-off extravaganza, with a lot of the money destined for the pockets of the politically connected major donors to the Democrat Party.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
18 days ago
Reply to  johnh

To John. No they wont put them in busy places. They will install them in the Middle of Death Valley. Parking, no problem. Kyle L.

Surya
19 days ago

China and Russia are smacking their lips about our internal affairs. They think our country is divided and distracted and they can advance the cause of world domination. Russia is preparing for encroaching Ukraine and China preparing for land grab in Taiwan and Indo-China,India and others. China is especially preparing for war in the United States, both economically and militarily. Americans are resilient. If we can be united as a country, we can forge ahead. It is fast-approaching!

johnh
19 days ago
Reply to  Surya

I agree with you that China & Russia are viewing USA as a divided country. And there is still a lot of Americans that do not accept results of 2020 election —- and reason is …….

Mary
19 days ago
Reply to  johnh

Don’t accept the results of 2020 election because it was RIGGED…President Trump had this country going strong and another four years would have made a difference. We are now back to the games of BamBam Obama and the crazy current entourage…mental disease is running rampant in D.C.

HocasPocas
17 days ago
Reply to  Mary

It’s not just in DC

HocasPocas
17 days ago
Reply to  johnh

If you couldn’t figure it out then put your head back in the sand JohnH, you might find the answer there

herblady
19 days ago

I think the Article completely misses the Facts and Truth. Yet that is sadly the state of Most News and Media in the Newly forming Marxist CCP America. If Amac is conservative and suppose to have the USA Citizens interest and concerns, I’d hate to see how bad the AARP association is in comparison. Once again the Amac Writer fails to Site His Sources, wonder why, I suspect this came from places like the Guardian,AP, BBC, Reuter, and NPR (All very Left leaning), if the source was a more conservative site, why not list that???? odd I think. They used to list the source, not lately??
#1 Worry of MAGA people IS THE 2020 FRAUDULENT ELECTION & GETTING IT OVER TURNED. (that’s over 81million USA Citizens and growing) Yet Media will not touch this Subject for Fear They’ll be singled out and have to apologize to the Mob that seems to show up every place to persecute anyone who steps out of line from the Narratives Set up by those at the top, Directing all of this, BS and Propaganda. The Writer Miserably Fails to point out why they believe there is so much Anxiousness in America, Could it be All the things I’m Listing?????????
#2 Worry of USA Citizens is the Corrupt, Regime, not legit, installed Illegal Traitorous Politicians in D.C/Government. Who are Systematically Destroying the Foundations so they can install their Great Reset, New World Order. The Great Collapse Must happen to allow for the 2021 & 2030 Agenda of the Globalist/Elitist Plans to take over the World.
#3 Massive Violation of USA Citizens God given Inalienable Rights, these Thugs in Gov. Have and continue to Violet are God given Rights and Other Founding Document Rights. What has and continues, 5+ years, in this country is Evil, these Thugs need rounded up and Prosecuted $$$$$ and placed in Prison for 50+ years, with Zero Pardons allowed. These Violations of Citizens Rights have gone on for Months and Months, nearly two years. Yet No one seems to be asking the Most needed Question WHY HAVE THEY NEVER ISOLATED THIS COVID 19 VIRUS, AND IF PUSHED TO PROVE IS THERE REALLY SCIENTIFIC PROOF THERE EVER WAS JUSTIFICATION TO DECLARE THIS PANDEMIC?? Also They Never Provided Rock Solid Proof Mask Wearing, Social Distancing, Lockdowns of Healthy (not sick) people has done any good, Instead these Measures have caused Criminal Harm and Damage. Then we get to the Lies about Treatments and why the deception, and then the lies and cover up about the Millions who’ve died because treatments were withheld, and bad treatments given that hurried death instead of improving health. Then the Worst of All are these BIO-WEAPON INJECTIONS THEY CALL “vaccines” MORE LIES AND DECEPTION. These injections are causing all this death, and that’s being covered up, and No Media outlet will report that truth. Frankspeech/Lindelltv (.com), noQreport(.com), thenewAmerican(.com), libertysentinel(.org), redpillUniversity(.com), Bill Fiderer AmericanMinute(.com), technocracy.(news), thefederalist, frontpagemag, 100% fedup, (these media outlets can be trusted to give you facts and truth) their also not afraid to support Patriots like Mike Lindell. (by the way, I’m currently a paying member).

Max J
19 days ago
Reply to  herblady

AARP is HIGH LEFT LEANING.

johnh
19 days ago
Reply to  Max J

And which way does AMAC lean in your opinion.

Max J
19 days ago
Reply to  johnh

Moderate.

Kevin S
18 days ago
Reply to  johnh

Very Left

herblady
19 days ago
Reply to  Max J

I know that about AARP but Amac is not as Patriotic as I’d been told. Amac is at most is Moderate.

Mary
19 days ago
Reply to  herblady

Right on! 100% right on every level…I have some thoughts also that I only share with trusted family in my life and it is criminal that many people cannot come forward with the truth except on forums like this…it will eventually come to a head as more if the population gets mad enough!

Becky
19 days ago

Thank God Americans are a strong people. A lot of that is due to our Christian Founding and belief in God.
All the other BS and nonsense arising daily, or more accurately being caused daily, is irritating, disgusting, and vile because we know it is deliberate. It is caused by one political party of Communists demanding control over us, right down to how many squares of toilet paper we get to use. And it is endless. This attack on America began in 1960. It has gotten extremely old. Unfortunately, and most vexing and frustrating, is that we sane citizens no longer have ANY political party fighting FOR us, or America.
Our one saving grace is that people are beginning to realize that truth, and are starting to fight back.

Max J
19 days ago
Reply to  Becky

I wish that your opening comment was true but US people are divided big time and that is what this administration and the LEFT want so that they may divide and conquer. Our Christian Founding and belief in God has been being eroded at the foundation by the LEFT since the mid 1960’s when prayer and Bible reading was taken out of the educational system, the approval of abortion (murder) and same sex marriage and the gender issue. It will continue to get worse until there is NATIONAL REPENTANCE and all of the abominations against God’s word are revoked and struck down. It doesn’t help when churches and denominations are not united and they too have refused to follow God’s word.

herblady
19 days ago
Reply to  Max J

Hear/Hear!

Mary
19 days ago
Reply to  Max J

The hand of God will be the final judge, all those who have faith and believe will flourish in his kingdom…the rest, well, a special place for them.

Kevin S
18 days ago
Reply to  Mary

Not so much “special” as flax is harvested and dross is discarded.

Myrna
19 days ago

Worry is perhaps necessary. If we were not sensitive to danger, we would not survive long. We need to balance our worries with thankfulness. All of the above outlined could be worse and may become worse. But every new day is an opportunity to look for what is right and give thanks.

Denise Earl
19 days ago

Thank you for this article. It needed to be said.

Bill on the Hill
19 days ago

RBC… Much of what all of us see happening before our own very eyes has impacted so many people in quite similar ways over these last 18 months or so…IMHO, social media during this time period has done far more damage than good from any number of angles one chooses to define it…
When I read posts of people saying & I quote ” I’m a conservative patriot & the rest of my family are communists… ” This is a pretty good indicator of the frustration of what was once loving, cohesive families turning into polar opposites on a host of issues all of us are being bombarded with 24/7 it seems, i.e. CRT, rigged elections, Marxism, Socialism, Communism, crooked politicians, a broken Federal gov’t, including the DOJ & the courts, all the way to SCOTUS, Covid-19, forced vaccinations through illegal gov’t mandates, Big Tech censorship, supply chain issues, inflation, gas prices, heating fuel costs, food shortages, war with China & on & on it goes…Life for Americans has become a never ending horror movie with NO end in sight it seems…
After 4.5 months of ” self imposed ” isolation from my own family beginning on Fathers Day & lasting until this past Saturday on my granddaughter’s 13th birthday, of which I was invited, my isolation ended because I hold my family above & beyond the above mentioned current events that my daughter does NOT completely agree with me on, hence the separation & a very hard pill for me to swallow I might add, when I walked through her door for Maren’s 13th birthday party, there was no discussion of any of the above mentioned stuff, it was all bear hugs & kisses as we all enjoyed each other’s company once again…So I guess the moral of the story here is, family first, anything else is just window dressing…
Bill on the Hill…

herblady
19 days ago

good comments. only corrections would be Jack Booted Thugs, Corrupt Federal Gov., including the Jack Booted Thugs, Corrupt DOJ & the Jack Booted Thugs, Corrupt courts, all the way to Jack Booted Thugs, Corrupt SCOTUS.

PaulE
19 days ago

RBC,

I wouldn’t categorize the mood of most Americans as anxious. I think thoroughly disgusted better describes the mood of the country.

johnh
19 days ago
Reply to  PaulE

But according to polls, there are still a little over 40% of citizens think that this country is headed in the right direction & again these polls magnify the division of citizens in this nation.

PaulE
19 days ago
Reply to  johnh

If you believe most polls are accurate, then I have a great bridge to sell you. Most polls are over-sampled Democrat voters by 6 to 7 points and under-sample Republican voters by 5 points the actual population of the area they are sampling. That 40 percent you’re referencing is likely actually only 25 to 30 percent pro Biden when adjusted for the normal party demographics.

Kevin S
18 days ago
Reply to  PaulE

Polls are borne of statistical methods, therefore it’s easily structured to both ask the properly phrased questions of the appropriately selected populace (notably conservatives don’t answer unsolicited polls – I don’t) to yield the desired result.
Those who believe in polls are delusional at best, massively stupid thereafter.

HocasPocas
17 days ago
Reply to  johnh

Polls, polls and more polls. I haven’t seen one that has ever been quite accurate

Stephen Lykins
16 days ago
Reply to  johnh

As my Statistics Professor taught us, you can prove anything you want with statistics by simply controlling your sample. If you found 10 people who still believe the earth is flat and then polled an additional 5 people who did not, your results would show that 66% believe the earth is, in fact, flat. But, if you managed to poll every single person on the planet, your results would show the majority of people do NOT believe the earth is flat. The bottom line is to be skeptical of all polls!

Diana Erbio
18 days ago
Reply to  PaulE

My mood is sad & mad…I call it SMAD! I am also hopeful that more and more Americans are waking up and want the “Woke” to go back to sleep and leave use alone to live our lives as free individuals according to our Constitution.

Boz
19 days ago

l can almost see the whites of their eyes……

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