The media often touts economic news as the barometer for whether life is good in America or not. So when a new poll shows a majority of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track even as other news breaks that the middle class is finally starting to reap the benefits of economic recovery, they can't make heads or tails of it.
Maybe, just maybe, that majority doesn't base their sense of well-being for themselves or their country on how full their wallet is. Maybe they're concerned about the breakdown of law and order, the division between races and between ideologies, the forced redefinition of fundamental realities like the nature of marriage or what it means to be a man or woman. Maybe we see violence and death and terrorism and incredible suffering around the world and are uneasy about how it will come to our shores and affect our children. Maybe we look at the media and government and corruption and lies and wonder whether we are self-governing citizens or merely dupes subjected to a ruling class.
As David French writes at National Review:
In other words, there are some problems that are beyond politics. Yes, good policies can adjust incentives, but — at the end of the day — good policies don’t keep families together or keep the needle out of a young man’s arm. As I wrote in the print edition of National Review a couple weeks ago, a true Ronald Reagan-style “morning in America” renaissance is made far more difficult when there is an increasing lack of cultural cohesion and family stability.