The Grass Is Always Greener In Government


We Don’t Know What We Want, But We HATE Government – So We Always Want The Alternative.

We elect presidents who support social issues, then decide they do too much. When we elect the other guy, we decide they do too little… I think we just don’t know what we want.

Take a look at this graphic:

What this shows is that every time we switch from Republican to Democrat (or vice-a-versa) we change our opinions about what the Government’s responsibility should be for taking care of others.

We notice during the Reagan/Bush years a high percentage agreed that the government should be involved in the lives of the unfortunate. When Clinton comes to office, someone who swings more the lower/middle classes, our opinions drop to new lows. When Bush comes into office? We see an increase up to Bush Sr. levels. And now that Obama is sitting at the helm, well we are back to Clinton Era sentiments.

Now I wish I could find Pew results that dated further back, since there very well could be other events that coincided with these sentiment levels not relating to the presidency.

But the idea is interesting and something I would like to see explored. Perhaps like me you are now wondering, but why?

Perhaps it is the media, you always bash the policies of the one in office – simply because he is the only one to bash. News media outlets hammered Bush on everything he did, and we see some residuals heading Obama’s way (although not as much).

But was it because Bush enacted major reform that decreased the amount of assistance the government gave to the poor? Perhaps, he did introduce welfare reform, but his welfare reform increased the amount of support the government gave – albeit while increasing work requirements.

Maybe it has to do with economic conditions. Bush came into office and less than a year before 9/11, and event that resulted in a major stock market decline, and fostered a feeling of brotherhood many of us felt as Americans. But that doesn’t hold so well when we look into Obama’s presidency. Obama came in during a dire financial crisis and in the middle of a deep recession, yet sentiment still changed. In fact, it actually declined throughout the financial crisis.

Or maybe it just has to do with the simple fact that we don’t like government. We don’t like the policies put in place by the individual while they are in office, maybe that changes a bit after, but the news media is always there to criticize. It used to be that the media really had to be fair and balanced,  allocating equal time to both sides of a debate. Now that requirement doesn’t exist, and lets face it – politics is much less entertaining when it isn’t “ALERT ALERT,” “BREAKING NEWS,” or “OBAMA NOT CHRISTIAN?”

So my take is, the grass is always greener on the other side. It is not the policies or its effects, or the person that we don’t like – it is government in general.  Regardless of what is going on, a considerable portion of the populace decides to edge away from the platform issues of the current guy in favor for the next.

This is an opinion piece, you’ve heard mine – please share yours.

4 thoughts on “The Grass Is Always Greener In Government

  1. Pingback: The Grass Is Always Greener In Government | Political Features |

  2. Reply Eliana Oct 5,2012 %I:%M %p

    We are human beings and it is in our nature never being satisfied with what we have… However this is not necessarily a negative aspect. If we were totally happy and satisfied, there wouldn’t be any room for progress and improvement. So people know what they want: they want something more, something new and something better! Always! We “hate” and complain about our government because it is something we cannot control and this is the only way we can express our dissatisfaction and need for change. It is useless to wonder whether a government should have done this or not. People will never be happy with a system which is made by people, and as such, subject to human limitations. Luckily we live in countries where we have the possibility to “hate” and criticize those politicians who are suppose to be there to serve us. And thank God that we have an alternative. It is called democracy!

  3. Reply Kelly S. Oct 19,2012 %I:%M %p

    The big problem lies within not enough people being politically current and educated in the area of what our government is executing or presenting. The ability to know full well why you are not happy with our government, or candidates for president, is more important than following this knowledge with a vote. Of course, voting needs to follow but the hate a lot of times comes from these followers perspective and not from someone who knows truly what they are talking about. If you don’t like politics then so what? It’s not something that should be dismissed for reasons of dislike. We live here! If you don’t know what is going on in the world then how can you be confident fully? It doesn’t take more than daily CNN for some people to be even partially able to make a real choice of like or dislike. They think their knowledge doesn’t matter because it won’t fix anything, but it will keep you from feeling like someone who doesn’t know an area they preach for, or against. This is a great post and take on this topic and I like the different ways in which the topic shows just how many people there are without undetermined motives or negative or positive views of the government.

  4. Reply Robin Oct 25,2012 %I:%M %p

    Interesting views that I hadn’t considered before. Now consider this, the media networks are mostly owned by big corporations and a select few individuals in the top 1%. Isn’t it just possible they exercise their influence spreading it to the masses? Hopefully, we citizens, though we may be in the dark and not privy to all the information can think for ourselves, and not blindly cast our votes like sheep.

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