Optimism: 50 Percent of Americans Say Best Years Are Behind Us

Posted: Jan 03, 2013 6:00 PM

Once again, Gallup has asked voters perhaps every pollster’s favorite question: Do you think America’s best years are behind us, or yet to come? As it happens, the results are rather predictable:


If anything, Gallup’s findings underscore one self-evident truth -- that is, the American public is deeply divided on this question along partisan and ideological lines. And it’s no mystery why. For their part, conservatives are still grappling with the fact that President Obama won re-election, Obamacare will soon be the law of the land, and the latest so-called “fiscal cliff” compromise was -- among other things -- riddled with pork and failed to address the major long-term drivers of our debt. Worse, some now even speculate that conservatives have already lost the culture war, implying that the status quo is -- for lack of a better term -- the “new normal.” (I suspect the Left is optimistic about the nation’s prospects, by the way, for these very same reasons). That said, I think there’s still reason for conservatives to be optimistic.

First, as lopsided as the recent “compromise” seems -- especially at first glance -- it’s not all bad. And second, while the president “succeeded” in raising taxes on upper income earners -- as Guy pointed out earlier today -- he’s now finally expected to compromise in good faith with Congressional Republicans. (The keyword, of course, is “expected”). But the facts are clear what needs to happen in order to rein in our debt and reduce the national deficit, and The One -- thankfully -- can’t hide behind his inane and misleading “millionaires and billionaires” slogan anymore to get his way. It simply won’t work, as long as Republicans are vigorous and unrelenting in their messaging.

So, here’s to hoping that the president strikes a deal with the GOP leadership in 2013 to solve the great and numerous challenges of the 21st century. It’s about time he did.