By Eric Zuesse
December 26, 2017
“Information Clearing House” –

Gallup headlined on December 18th, “Americans View Government as Nation’s Top Problem in 2017”. Their report made clear that though this finding was unprecedented, it’s part of a longer-term trend, toward Americans naming America’s own “government as the most important problem facing the nation.” In a democracy, the public do not view the nation’s government to be (as in America) their enemy (which is the case if they view the “government as the most important problem facing the nation”). Americans increasingly view the Government as their enemy.

In a dictatorship, only the people who control the government are satisfied with the government; but, in a democracy, the public are satisfied with the government — or else that government will be replaced in elections by people who control the government and who do provide government that the public approve of. In the United States, we’re instead moving in the exact opposite direction: steadily going from one government to another, none of which wins the public’s approval; and the present American government winning the public’s approval even less than its predecessors did. This is not the situation that exists in authentic democracies. It’s what one expects to find in a country that’s ruled by a dictatorship. Dictators don’t need to worry so much about polls, because they don’t represent the public; they exploit the public — they use the public.

The only scientific study that has yet been done on the question of whether the U.S. is, in fact, run by a democratic government, or instead by a dictatorial one (specifically by an oligarchy, or a government that represents only the richest citizens), was published in September 2014, and it found clearly that the U.S. is definitely not a democracy, but the other type: that “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy”, whereas “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy”; and, furthermore, that, “The real-world impact of elites upon public policy may be still greater” than their statistics indicate, because the researchers weren’t able to measure the impact that the super-rich have on policy, but only the impact that the rich have on policy (versus the impact that the total American public have on policy). The rich control America’s Government, but whether the richest do, wasn’t able to be researched, as of 2014.

This academic study’s scientific methodology was so good, so that no one, as of yet, in the more than three years since its publication, has been able to find any flaw in its data or methodology. Its headline, like its writing, was as dull as possible, “Testing Theories of American Politics”, and this (and especially its atrocious writing) might at least partially explain why America’s mainstream press overwhelmingly has ignored that seminal and landmark study in the social sciences, and especially has ignored that study’s enormous implications, regarding contemporary U.S. politics and government. (A vastly clearer presentation of that study, and of its findings, can be found here in this 6-minute video summary of it.)

Increasingly after that time, particularly after Donald Trump’s becoming U.S. President on 20 January 2017, polls are confirming strongly that what this scientific analysis said, describes, even more starkly than before, the American reality — that the U.S. federal Government now blatantly ignores public opinion, and is controlled instead only by the rich.

One example of this phenomenon was recently headlined by me “Poll: By 2-to-1, Americans Oppose Moving U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem”, and it reported that in the only two published national polls in the U.S. that were taken prior to Trump’s announcement that the U.S. Embassy in Israel will be moved from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem — one having been a November 2017 poll of 2,000 Americans, published on December 11th, and the other being a September 2017 poll of 1,000 U.S. Jews — the overall U.S. public opposed any such move by 63% to 31%, and U.S. Jews opposed it by around similar percentages (though the polling-questions on the two polls differed significantly and therefore their findings are not directly comparable). Furthermore, that article also linked to another question which was included in the November poll, and which showed that only a minority of Americans — almost all of whom are Democrats — believe that Russia is a “foe” of the United States; and, of course, the U.S. federal Government (even the existing Republican one) does consider Russia, more than any other country, to be America’s foe; so, that, too, presents a stark contrast between the Government and its public.

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