By Eric Zuesse
Strategic Culture Foundation
The Monthly Harvard-Harris Poll: June 2017 is the latest poll in that series, and it scientifically sampled 2,258 U.S. registered voters, of whom (as shown on page 30) 35% were Democrat, 29% were Republican, and 30% were independent). It indicates (page 24) that 37% approve and 63% disapprove of the way the Republican Party is handling its job. It also indicates (page 25) that 38% approve, and 62% disapprove, of the way the Democratic Party is handling its job. So: despite there being 6% more self-described Democrat's than Republican's, there was only 1% more disapproval of the Republican Party than of the Democratic Party; and, this indicates that there was a substantial disapproval of the Democratic Party by Democratic voters (more disaffection by them for ‘their’ Party, than Republicans have for theirs).
The answers to other questions in the poll also help to provide an answer as to why this is so, and why the voting public don’t hold either Party in high regard — why America’s supposedly ‘democratic’ (small-"D") politics is currently a contest between uglies, with neither Party offering anything like what the U.S. voting public want their government to do (i.e., it fits what this scientific study found actually to control U.S. politics):
(Page 27) 41% think President Trump should be impeached and removed from office, and 45% think no action should be taken against him.
(Page 28) 36% think the investigations into Russia and President Trump are helping the country, and 64% think they’re hurting the country.
(Page 39) Of listed U.S. government officials, the highest percentage-favorable ratings were: Bernie Sanders (52%), Mike Pence (47%), Donald Trump (45%), Hillary Clinton (39%), Paul Ryan (38%), Elizabeth Warren (37%), Jim Comey (36%), Robert Mueller (34%), Nancy Pelosi (31%), Jeff Sessions (28%), and Rex Tillerson (28%).
(Page 40) The highest percentage-unfavorable ratings were: Hillary Clinton (56%), Nancy Pelosi (51%), Donald Trump (50%), Paul Ryan (45%), Mitch McConnell (42%), Jeff Sessions (41%), Mike Pence (40%), Jared Kushner (39%), Bernie Sanders (38%), Jim Comey (36%), and Elizabeth Warren (36%).
(Page 72) 48% think President Trump colluded with the Russians during the election over the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta’s emails. 52% say No — Trump did not do that.
(Page 73) 54% say associates of President Trump did it; 46% say No to that.
(Page 74) 38% say There is evidence of such collusion by Trump; 62% say No.
(Page 75) 54% say this is a legitimate investigation; 46% say it’s fueled to create a cloud over the Trump administration.
(Page 79) 44% say Keep the focus on the Russia investigation; 56% say Move on to other issues.
(Page 83) 73% say they are concerned that there has been lost focus and energy by the administration and Congress because of the Russia investigation. 67% say they’re concerned about future interference by Russia in U.S. elections.
(Page 95) 54% say Yes and 46% say No to Do you think the so called ‘Deep State’ — the collection of intelligence agencies and holdover government workers from the Obama administration — is trying to unseat President Trump?
(Page 96) When asked Who do you think is more to blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss of the election? 67% choose Hillary Clinton and her campaign team for running a weak campaign and 33% choose Forces like the Russians, former FBI director Comey, and the Democratic National Committee not having reliable voter data.
(Page 124) 74% Favor Offering incentives for electric cars and renewable energy such as wind and solar. 62% Favor Setting much tougher emission standards for cars and other vehicles. 34% Favor Putting coal, and all coal and clean coal plants, out of business. Today’s American public take global warming seriously — or at least more seriously than Republican public officials do.
(Page 133) 47% think it was Right and 53% think it was Wrong for Trump to pull the United States out of the current version of the Paris Climate Agreement."
(Page 151) 49% think the media is being fair to President Trump; 51% say Unfair.
(Page 154) 21% Favor raising the U.S. government’s debt ceiling. 69% Oppose.
(Page 155) 36% Favor a government shut down over the issue; 64% Oppose.
What this poll found is basically the same thing that has been shown in many different polls. So: former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who was the last person who was able to win the White House without needing to rely upon billionaires in order to do it, was correct when he said that, Now it's just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members. Anybody who refers to this government as being a ‘democracy’ is way behind the times, because it has been, ever since 1980, controlled by its aristocracy; it is an oligarchy instead of a democracy; it is a regime instead of a government that represents its public. This regime represents its aristocrats. And that is why the public’s disapproval of this country’s leaders is so high. That happens in a regime, not in a democracy. Both of America’s Parties represent this country’s aristocracy, not America’s public. The latest Harvard-Harris poll simply adds to the already-overwhelming evidence of this. But the basic evidence on the matter was the Gilens-Page study. In their section American Democracy? they said:
What do our findings say about democracy in America? They certainly constitute troubling news for advocates of populistic democracy, who want governments to respond primarily or exclusively to the policy preferences of their citizens. In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule — at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.
One of the aristocracy’s many magazines, The Atlantic, headlined on June 21st, «Is American Democracy Really Under Threat?» and tried to fool their readers to think the answer is no; but, of course, they were pointing, as ‘evidence’, merely to nominal adherence to ‘democratic’ forms, and ignored the actual evidence on the matter, such as Gilens and Page examined in depth, and such as the many polls that have also been referred to in the links here have additionally reinforced. None of this actual evidence was even so much as mentioned. The honest answer to the article’s title-question is not just Yes but more than that: their question itself is more like their having asked Is there a danger of the horse being stolen? After the horse was already stolen, and has for decades (since at least 1980) already been absent from the barn; so, that article’s very title is a deception, even without its text (which is written for outright fools who can’t recognize what constitutes evidence that is suitable for a given allegation). A better question would therefore be: Why do people still subscribe to vapid propaganda-magazines like that? All propaganda should be free of charge. But, of course, in a dictatorship like this, people pay even for the right to be deceived. It’s no longer free-of-charge. That’s just the way things are — really are. It’s shown in the data — not in anybody’s mere platitudes about the matter. People pay to embellish the lies that they already believe. Most people want that, more than they want to come to know the truth. The worse the truth is, the more that people crave the myth which contradicts it — they’ll pay good money to mainline that into themselves: evidenceless reassurances, such as that article. But anyone who takes that type of pap seriously, won’t be able sensibly to understand such findings as were reported in the latest Harvard-Harris poll.