NEWS AND OPINION:
Well, here’s some disconcerting news as the nation prepares for the Fourth of July, normally a benign and pleasant holiday with good eats, sparkling fireworks and a general sense of well being. That may not be the case this year.
Cultural and political divides are taking a genuine toll on the nation, along with a creeping sense that something is going wrong within the United States of America. So says a poll released Thursday by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.
“A majority of Americans agree that the government is ‘corrupt and rigged against everyday people like me,’ including 73% of voters who describe themselves as a ‘strong Republican,’ 71% who called themselves ‘very conservative’ and 68% of rural voters. A bare majority (51%) of voters who call themselves ‘very liberal’ also agreed. Overall, two-thirds of Republican and independent voters agree that the government is ‘corrupt and rigged’ against them, while Democrats are evenly split,” said the poll analysis, which is titled “Our Precarious Democracy.”
Pardon me, but we need to fix this. But wait, there’s more.
“Nearly half of Americans (49%) agreed that they ‘more and more feel like a stranger in my own country,’ with 69% of strong Republicans and 65% who call themselves ‘very conservative’ leading the way. Fully 38% of strong Democrats agreed,” the pollster said.
The survey of 1,000 U.S. voters was conducted May 19-23 and released Thursday.
SOMETHING FOR THE ‘PROUD AMERICAN’
At least one major news organization is pushing back against the negative mindset that appears to encompass the nation at the moment.
Fox News Channel begins an unabashed, unapologetic, four-day celebration of “American patriotism and heroism” on Friday, broadcast live from historic sites in Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Washington and the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
Network regulars Pete Hegseth, Rachel Campos-Duffy and Will Cain will host. There will be patriotic music from the West Point band, and cadets themselves will explain what it means “to be an American,” Now that’s helpful.
Musical tributes are many, including a performance by Lee Greenwood, long known for his iconic tune “God Bless the USA.” That’s also helpful.
Among many other features, Fox News Radio programming will feature a “July 4th Radio BBQ Bash,” while Fox Weather will offer “special beach, parade and barbecue forecasts from around the country.”
Much of the nation will be grilling and feasting as Fourth of July spirit takes over the weekend and the barbecue beckons. The celebration will cost more this year, according to the Farm Bureau.
“The average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people is $69.68, which breaks down to less than $7 per person. The overall cost for the cookout is up 17% or about $10 from last year, a result of ongoing supply chain disruptions, inflation and the war in Ukraine,” the bureau said.
Inflation has also struck our beloved burgers in particular. The largest year-to-year price increase among all the holiday goodies was for ground beef. The average retail price for 2 pounds of ground beef is $11.12, up 36% from last year. Boneless chicken breasts and readymade pork and beans are tied in second place, both up by 33%.
Data for this year’s survey was collected June 13-27 by 176 volunteer shoppers across the country and in Puerto Rico.
THE JOYLESS LEFT
Uh-oh. The title says all in a new book by Eddie Scarry, a columnist for The Federalist — “Liberal Misery: How the Hateful Left Sucks Joy Out of Everything and Everyone,” published by Bombardier Books.
The joyless state started when Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election.
“They lost. And losing hurts. But it’s not supposed to be permanent. The next critical election is always within arm’s reach and there are more productive ways to spend time than holding on to the pain of the last one,” Mr. Scarry wrote.
“As of 2016, though, liberals and Democrats no longer saw things that way, if they ever truly did at all. After that election, they believed there was no reason to pretend that they understood differences of political opinion, nor that they could tolerate them. They no longer viewed Republicans, conservatives, or even just open-minded independents as the opposition in an honest democracy. They saw them all as an existential enemy that needed to be extinguished,” the author noted.
“And thus began our long journey through hell. P—— hats. Public crying. Fake hate crimes perpetrated by nonexistent Trump supporters. Safe spaces. Angry, vulgar protests broadcast on network television under the guise of being Hollywood award ceremonies,” Mr. Scarry advised.
“Their thoughts and feelings about politics are no longer a piece of their lives, but all-consuming. It’s not without consequence. When half the country chooses to exist in a perpetual state of irritability, vindictiveness, and intolerance, we’re all forced to share in the misery,” he noted.
“Liberals are joyless nags. Now we know why,” the publisher summed up in advance notes.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: “Blue Dog,” a one-of-a kind beach cottage built in 1938 in Tybee Island, Georgia. Three bedrooms, two baths, living and dining rooms, custom kitchen with retro-style “Big Chill” brand appliances; 1,228 square feet. Property restored by historic preservationist, includes fireplace, built-in bookcases, gleaming wood floors, sleeping porch, deck, metal roof. Two blocks to the ocean. The iconic home will be sold fully furnished. Priced at $740,000 through Century21.com; enter 268139 in the search function.
POLL DU JOUR
• 40% of U.S. adults describe themselves as “very patriotic”; 66% of Republicans, 37% of independents and 27% of Democrats agree.
• 34% describe themselves as “somewhat patriotic”; 26% of Republicans, 35% of independents and 40% of Democrats agree.
• 16% describe themes as “not very patriotic”; 5% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 24% of Democrats agree.
• 10% describe themes as “not at all patriotic”; 3% of Republicans, 12% of independents and 9% of Democrats agree.
SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted June 25-28.
• Helpful information to email@example.com