The American population is not satisfied with the way things are going in the United States.
According to a recent poll conducted by Gallup, Americans are not experiencing a passive distaste for their country’s state of affairs. Rather, the poll reveals a deep sense of uneasiness and disgust with current events and policies in the U.S.
Gallup measured the satisfaction level of Americans in July 2016 at 17 percent. This is 12 points lower than the measured 29 percent satisfaction level recorded in June. Since 2001, Gallup has surveyed Americans’ satisfaction with the state of the nation every month. The 12-point drop in satisfaction level from June to July signifies the most drastic monthly change in the poll’s history.
The drop suggests America is in a state of turmoil, and additional data from the poll reveals the topical issue at the root of the dissatisfaction: race relations.
More than any other issue, racism and race relations were identified by poll respondents as the most important problem in the U.S. today. Just a few months ago, in April, 7 percent of respondents viewed racism as the most important problem facing the U.S. Now, that number has jumped to 18 percent.
It's unlikely Americans suddenly care more about race relations in America than they did four months ago, but recent events have raised awareness. With the number of shootings and acts of violence seemingly committed in the name of race, it is not surprising citizens are dissatisfied with a country that claims to be the land of the free.
July 2016 saw the deaths of Alton B. Sterling, Philando Castile and five police officers. Sterling and Castile were black men, both shot by police officers in cases that have now ignited civil rights investigations and ongoing protests. The five police officers who were killed were shot while monitoring one of these protests in Dallas.
Satisfaction with America has not been this low in more than 10 years.
Racism is not the only problem leaving Americans less than pleased with their country.
Of those polled, 16 percent identified “Dissatisfaction with the Government” as the most important problem in the U.S. in July. With two national political party conventions, numerous scandals revealed and unrest in both the Democratic and Republican parties, this statistic may not come as a surprise.
The numbers for crime and violence are up 3 points since June, revealing that Americans are taking notice of events such as two separate shootings at nightclubs in Orlando and Fort Myers, Florida.
Any way analysts spin the numbers, the poll reveals that Americans are dissatisfied with the U.S. at this moment in history for political and societal reasons. Gallup estimates the numbers likely will continue to drop until the election in November.