- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 3, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

How mad is America at the moment? Citizens are apparently mad enough to warrant “The American Rage Quiz,” a public survey conducted by Esquire Magazine and NBC News to gauge the outrage among Americans as they confront politics, media and cultural complications.

“We the people are pissed. The body politic is burning up. And the anger that courses through our headlines and news feeds - about injustice and inequality, about marginalization and disenfranchisement, about what they are doing to us—shows no sign of abating.” the Esquire editors declare.

“Seventy-three percent of whites say they get angry at least once a day, as compared with 56 percent of blacks and 66 percent of Hispanics,” the survey advises. “Seventy-seven percent of Republicans get angry at least once a day, as compared with 67 percent of Democrats. The least angry household-income brackets: the very rich ($150,000-plus) and the very poor ($15,000 and less). The most angry: the middle of the middle class ($50,000 to $74,999),” the pollsters note in their findings.

Culture watchers point out that outrage and indignation has become a  contemporary marketing device. The clever news media often maneuvers the public into outrage and anger as a way to rivet both their interest and patronage - and up the audience numbers, whether measured by viewers, listeners or online clicks.

And some more numbers from the survey:

54 percent of Americans say the U.S. was once the most powerful country in the world but isn’t anymore; 41 percent say it remains the most powerful country.

52 percent say the American Dream does not hold true anymore; 36 percent say it does hold true, 11 percent say it never held true.

49 percent say they get angry more often than they did a year ago; 42 percent say they are angry just as often, 8 percent say they are angry less often.

48 percent say race relations have become worse since President Obama was elected; 39 percent say they have stayed the same, 12 percent say they are better.

37 percent say they are personally angry “once a day,” 31 percent say they are angry “a few times a day,” 20 percent say once a week.

Source: An The NBC News/Esquire poll of 3,257 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 20-24 and released Sunday.

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