Don’t Lose Touch with American Optimism

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In the concluding days of the long, bitter campaign, a slight economic improvement sparked a new burst of hope. According to CNN/ORC polling, 54% thought things were “going well” in America, while only 46% said they were going poorly—the best rating in nearly 10 years. This correlates with big increases in approval for President Obama, placing him in comparable territory to Presidents Reagan and Clinton at the ends of their terms. The new optimism prevailed across the board – lifting spirits in every race and income level. Only one major group remained gloomy: just 21% of Republicans agreed that things were going well, less than half the rating of the nation at large.

Of course, conservatives may be right to disregard President Obama’s boasts about his achievements, but if Republicans remain deeply out of touch in judging the nation’s welfare, they risk isolating and undermining their party. GOP shouldn’t stand for “Grumpy Old Paranoids.”

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  1. Nani  •  Nov 2, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    I've been looking into the Holocaust and Jew persecution lately. I know it's not cool to liken anyone to Hitler or the Nazis, but the rhetoric is astoundingly familiar. One of the things that Hitler found was that as long as Germany was doing well financially, very few was willing to go along with his campaign of hate and blame. It took the stock market crash for his regime to rise and flourish.

    This perception of doing well does not bode well for Trump and the Trumpettes.

    Thank God. I do NOT hate Hillary more than I love this country and I cannot support an insane person to have the codes to the nukes. Say what you want about either character but one thing is clear: one is insane.

    • Willy Istvan  •  Nov 3, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      Nani, Think about how blind you're being. Hillary is accusing Donald of being friendly with the Russians on a daily basis. Between Donald and Hillary, who do you think is far more likely to start a nuclear war with Russia? Come on…use some common sense. People like Hillary and Obama want to end America as we know it. They want some fantasy "socialist utopia"…and she wants taxpayers to pay for it. How long can such foolishness last? Trump wants to rebuild America to make it as great as it once was. Hillary wants 6 billion people to move to America so she can give them everything for free and get their votes. Hillary obviously wouldn't even mind if Muslims invade strategic regions and pass Sharia Law like they have in England. Please tell me now…who is really insane, Hillary or Trump?

      • Nani  •  Nov 3, 2016 at 7:43 pm

        Willy, you truly believe that Trump will do what he didn't do to the students of Trump University and Atlantic City? He made promises to them and didn't keep them. This is his greatest con and your hate for Hillary is making you a willing mark. And you are comparing what Trump SAYS he wants to do with what YOU THINK Hillary wants to do.

        But you know, I'm not going into Trump vs. Hillary. I'm not going to do a misogynistic bully with a 3rd grade spoiled temperament verses a lying, corrupt, money hungry politician. NONE of that matters. The person who occupies the White House will have the codes to nukes Willy, CODES. Of the two, only one is certifiably insane and it isn't the one who would manipulate the system; it's the one who has no belief in the system period.

  2. Jim Bird  •  Nov 2, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    It was Michael who about a year ago said ,"….there is no place on Earth that is better today than it was seven years ago when Obama took office." Things have been much worse this past year (2 more assassinated cops last night). Yesterday we learn through more emails that Michael's good friend Lannie Davis was key to the dumping of the original 33,000 emails. Now Michael is comparing Reagan with Clinton and Obama. Michael, 90% of your callers are practically horrified by your non-support for Trump. You continue playing these "word games" like "I'm not voting Hillary either….I'll write in someone else…." trying to prove some incomprehensible meaningless principle. That line of thought by you and others, according to the polls, has convinced 20% of Republicans not to vote Trump as well. Trump is dead even in the polls today; do you think that 20% has helped your cause to defeat him?
    I see the Republican Party devouring itself and I see you blaming me.

  3. Willy Istvan  •  Nov 3, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    What has happened to you Michael? Two years ago, you would have said that due to the fact that so many people in our country are being subsidized by the government, a new poll shows that 54% of Americans think things are going well in our country. If I was a millenial who has never had a job, never finished college, sits around the house playing video games, living for free at my mommy's house, and only gettin up long enough to check the mailbox for my monthly goodies from Obama, I'd be inclined to think that things are going well also.

    By the way, all of the illegal immigrants collecting benefits from the government may not legally be allowed to vote, but they sure are allowed to answer poll questions.

    One question Michael…who's going to pay to support all of the people in that 54%. The reason the majority of Republicans do not believe things are going well is because they are the ones paying for all of that optimism. The result of your thinking will be a Depression that outlives your grandkids. You're making a big mistake by supporting Obama and Hillary.

    If you can't see that the $20 trillion debt bubble is going to explode one of these days, then you have zero compassion for every child in this country.

    • Jim Bird  •  Nov 4, 2016 at 11:02 am


      Wherever you came from, it is truly a Godsend! My seething anger with Michael's childish anyone-but-Trump reasoning with the Clintonista Crime Cartel built on the backs of American taxpayers, and now terrorist nations, no longer allows me to speak in your eloquent and reasoned articulation. Thank you so very much.

    • Ty  •  Nov 8, 2016 at 3:58 pm

      Asian Americans are paying a bigger share of the "burden" for social programs than just about any other group, including white republicans, and vastly prefer democrats over republicans. Clearly, support for the republican platform is not truly predicated on whether people have more of their tax dollars prop up other members of society. The difference is that conservative rhetoric presumes that any and all of such endeavors are terrible things. Guess what Willy? Most asians are not THAT dumb.

      We live in a hybrid system of Capitalism with some socialized elements in arenas like k-12 education, policing, defence, etc. We straight up pay old people with social security and subsidize their healthcare costs, along with veterans, and now with the ACA people on the lower end of the income distribution to a greater extent than ever before.

      If that last expansion bothers you, good. SEETHE in anger, you deserve to be an embittered dead end conservative. Know what OTHER socialist HELL hole has government subsidized healthcare? Israel. That place People like Prager almost NEVER raises a word against, he must not actually think it automatically leads to disastrous/hell hole like results, or he might be railing against them as well. But he is not, do you know why? Because people like him, and so many other talkers are completely disconnected from what works better in the modern world. They don't care if some government subsidized system actually works better, they care that whatever we had was never perturbed and altered. Again, with that attitude you DESERVE to lose. Go on, bitch about obamacare leading to increasing premiums, how often did you complain about the premium increases FAR ahead of anything else from decades before? You conservatives are a god damn joke. It's all pertisanship, ideology over results. The same things you blast "the left" for is what you engage in in spades.

  4. Nani  •  Nov 3, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    What happened to conservatives?

    Once upon a time they believed in free trade: now they support a man who wants to control trade.

    Once, they were against job protectionism: now they support a man who want to get rid of immigrants to protect jobs for Americans.

    Once, they were for limited government and cutting government spending : now they see nothing wrong with a man's plan to create a huge department that will bump up an already unbelievable debt.

    Once, they believed that the constitution was absolute; now they support a man who questions the first and fourteenth amendment.

    Once, they were religious; now they support a man who thinks Planned Parenthood and their selling baby parts does a good job and who doesn't think he has personally done anything he needs to ask God forgiveness for.

    Once, they were supporters of the military; now they support a man who compares his battle with free sex and the possibility of HIV with those who served and thinks those who didn't get deferments like he did and were captured are "losers".

    Once, they were civil and decent; now they support a man who is an outright bully,

    Once they hated lies and meanness; now they accept the lies of a man who lied to each of his previous two wives, a whole city, thousands who lost jobs and those who entered his university. And join him in his ugliness as though they had never claimed to be better people.

    Once they were proud of America and didn't want anyone to change her; now they look to a man who never sees beauty in something and someone that is no longer young.

    Once they valued intellectual conversation and common sense; now they embrace myths that have been debunked and promises that have no purchase in reality.

    Once, once, they had a home that while not perfect was expandable; allowing others to join and contribute. Now the flames of hate and anger is too large, too hot and soon there will be no where for them to go.

  5. Jim Bird  •  Nov 4, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    I think Rizzo and the other good people in these "commentary columns" have abandoned the site too. I tried that as well, but the daily voluminous incriminating evidence about our utterly corrupt and dangerous government has driven me back. This used to be the best forum on the exchange of ideas and substantive thought anywhere in cyberspace but now no longer gets the listenership (apparently, I've no idea what the ratings are now). I will stick it out though with Michael to see if Trump defeats the Dems and the GOP. Michael, you are wonderful person/all men and women are created equal in the eyes of God/this is NOT "an eye for an eye"/this is about extremely bad behavior by the Democrat Party crime syndicate. But you say I'm the problem because 1) I paid through the nose all my life for this atrocity with my tax dollars, 2) Republicans will look bad if I complain, 3) worrying about my children and grandchildren's future is silly, …. … why go on with the "new norms" in America now, small stuff like cop killings, terrorist attacks, a silent GOP, demolition of the middle class, massive increases in poverty, joblessness, crime, taxation and it is a never ending spiral down the rat-hole of liberalism/Marxism.
    I no longer have an answer of how to defeat the corrupt Leviathan Machine of our government now. Thank God the FBI "little people" threatened Comey to come clean. Verified by thousands of emails now, we know the Oval Office, State Department and Justice Department are totally corrupt and Michael won't even mention it. But he talks a lot about the Cubs, marihuana and denigrating Trump.

    • Franco  •  Nov 9, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      I'm still here Jim. Thanks for the kind words. And, especially, thanks for sticking it out.
      Without people like you, America would be facing the tyranny of a Hillary Clinton Presidency.
      God bless you… And God Bless America.

      • Jim Bird  •  Nov 12, 2016 at 8:47 am

        God bless you Rizzo and thank you for sticking it out too!!!

  6. Bill Strickland  •  Nov 4, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    When I look at the, I wonder is this true and if so why is there almost no talk or questions about this to the candidates? The debt after each president is,

    Bill Clinton 6 Trillion
    George Bush 10 Trillion
    Obama 19.5 Trillion

    Obama has added over a trillion dollars of debt for every year in office. The cost of intitlements continues to rise and is about 70% of what the IRS brings in. Defense and the wars is about 15% of government spending. I haven't talked to one Denocrat that believes or knows this.

    • Ty  •  Nov 8, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      This is one of those numbers that is presumed to be the worst possible thing without anything solid backing it up. Is the total debt burden the key factor in the economic downfall of a nation? Japan has had the highest of all, with over twice their GDP for YEARS, and they have not fallen into the sea. There is stagnation to be sure, but I suspect most of that is due to a falling population and fertility rate.

      Often these numbers are thrown out as if they alone tell a total story, I am doubtful, as an example look no further than California and Kansas.

      California has FAR more debt than Kansas, but it is also living with a budget surplus while Kansas has had to deal with repeated deficits. The latter with Brownback cut business taxes and higher earning taxes and expected, per conservative talk radio tea party dogma, that the resultant EXPLOSION in revenue from increased economic activity would more than make up for the differences… it didn't.

      Meanwhile California, with it's increased tax rates, and much higher total debt, is having an easier time with it's budget, even though it's more expensive to live here, and poor people have less adjusted earnings after expenses are taken into account.

      Why? It's clear to HONEST people (read NOT the talk radio tea party DOGMA crowd) that there are more variables at play than tax rates in terms of where and why people and business move to and from a place. Californa is a state with a long coastline, with several dense areas of high earning tech industries, where a few extra percent in taxes off an ALREADY high earnings base is water off a ducks back. If they could earn 10% more would they rather move to weedhole oklahoma vs the California coast? Turns out, probably not.

      More variables to consider, places like California can afford a higher tax base, and STILL thrive in good times (they will dip harder in recessions due to their breakdown of where the revenue comes from).

      But none of this matters, to the bubble world of many conservative talkers (Michael excepted, I listen to him because he's one of the MOST reasonable), if any observations of the real world do not match their presumptions about what should be, the data is tossed out and assumed irrelevant.

      REason number 872 why I refuse to support the republican party, and why they deserve NOTHING from anyone with a brain, like the asian community.

  7. Andrew Lacheta  •  Nov 4, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    I always suspected Michael Medved was a Trojan horse for the Liberals. I listened to him almost daily for years then I began to see a subtle pattern emerge that revealed his bias in favor of liberals. He claims to be a reformed Democratic/ Liberal after working for the Democratic party in Washington when he was younger and not as enlightened. He is a plant manipulated and probably funded by the Progressive movement. He never became a conservative on the political right. He is worst than a RINO; he is an instrument of political deception to manipulate conservative listeners. Why would he feel the need to feature an article like this just before the election trying to persuade all who read the above article that everyone is happy with Obama's economic policies except the Republicans!!!!!! Really?? Look around in your town. How many small businesses do you see doing well?? Most are folding and closing their doors!!!! Don't be fooled. Medved is playing conservatives like a master violinist!!

  8. Brian Young  •  Nov 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Michael…I stopped listening to the radio and watching television due to the intense bitterness that I hear coming from all sides. We have been divided into groups and told that we must hate and demean all others. There are times when I am on the road that I will turn on the radio to listen to your program. It seems like you are one of the few who are trying to keep the conversation civil and to find truth wherever it can be found.

    Yesterday (Nov. 4th), I turned on your program and after listening to you I was so pleased. Finally, someone who is willing to try to bring us together as "Americans" instead of dividing us as either Republicans and/or Democrats. I am not a member of either party because I feel that they become the same political animal once they arrive in Washington D.C. Anyway, it was so refreshing that you are willing to look at both sides of an issue.

    I have friends that belong to both parties. When you start discussing issues with them, it is amazing how the goals are more similar than they think. They may have different solutions, but they both are looking for similar outcomes. For example, taking care of the poor. It is a wonderful and important goal. The democrats are looking for government programs to take care of the poor. My Republican friends would like to turn to private and religious groups to do the same. Both sides want to take care of the poor. Why can't we come together and discuss that issue and maybe work toward a joint government, private, and religious solution. That is a very simple example, but if we look to ourselves as Americans instead of Republicans and Democrats, then maybe we would be getting better outcomes from our government.

    Lastly, our society is built upon what I call "tribalism". Everyone is looking for groups of people who will accept them and/or support their beliefs. Once we are accepted into a "tribe", then we look at all other groups as the enemy and unworthy of our consideration. These tribes could be religions, race, gender, social status, etc. It gives us an excuse for not accepting and/or listening to other viewpoints. I BELIEVE that much can be learned from all religions, races, genders, and other groups. Maybe if we opened our hearts to look for truth wherever it can be found, then we as the "human race" might start to love and accept one another.

    Sorry for the long message. I was just so glad I heard your radio program yesterday. May we see the entire human race as our brothers and sisters and not our enemy.

    Brian Young (Independent Mormon from Utah)

  9. Bryan Whalen  •  Nov 7, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I am so saddened by the remarks from Michael this afternoon. I have always enjoyed his thoughtful and intelligent commentaries. When he admitted today that if he lived in a swing state like Florida he would vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump I was shocked!!! I will not be listening anymore Michael, not to you or any station that airs your programs. I am in no way a Trump Fan but I am an ABC (anybody but Clinton). There is no moral case to vote for her under any circumstances ….ever!!!

  10. Franco  •  Nov 9, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Na na na na…. Na na na na…. Hey hey hey…. Good bye Nani!!!

    • Nani  •  Nov 9, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      Franco, where you going?

      • Franco  •  Nov 9, 2016 at 9:52 pm

        Nani… It has been said, that it is far better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. You can't go back. You can't erase all the documented stupidity you have brought to this message board, so just go away.
        – Goodbye Nani. You lost and AMERICA WON!!!
        God Bless America

  11. Franco  •  Nov 9, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Optimism is ALIVE AND WELL.


    • Ty  •  Nov 9, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      I'm not optimistic republicans will move us to a better health care model, but long term I'm still optimistic liberals will win the day and implement a system just as socialist as Israel. As for me, I intend to check out of politics for now, the results were too demoralizing in terms of moving the ball forward on the things I care about. That is one of the perks of not being a right wing talk radio listener, my entire life is not invested into politics where the fate of life and the universe and America ITSELF !!!! hangs in the balance.

      Dennis Prager really was the Blanche Dubois of the 2016 election.

      • Franco  •  Nov 9, 2016 at 5:50 pm

        Thanks for sharing your famous last words of a LOSER.

        Good bye Obamacare
        Hello Waterboarding Terorist Scumbags
        And kiss those "Sanctuarity Cities" GOOD BYE!!!

      • Ty  •  Nov 10, 2016 at 3:12 pm

        I'm not checking out forever, losers are the ones who just quit at the first sign of trouble or a setback. I'm not leaving the country and giving up on my issues. I don't care if obamacare survives in its current form, but I do care and will work to make sure we eventually have a working universal health care system. I, and the people on my side, WILL win on that issue and transform America. You have a nice delay, congratulations, I hope it lulls you into a sense of false security that our ideas are done and dead.

      • Franco  •  Nov 10, 2016 at 5:11 pm

        Your ideas are not new, and they are not novel.
        They have failed everywhere they have been tried.
        America will not be your Guinea Pig.
        And, we, TRUE AMERICANS will fight and defeat your LOSER socialist policies eventually, EVERYTIME!
        So bring it on… I have the Constitution on my side.
        What do you have?

  12. Henry  •  Nov 9, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    I cannot let this election cycle conclude without expressing a debt of gratitude to a man I otherwise have no way to contact, no way to shake his hand and look him in the eyes and say, “Well done.” That man is Dennis Prager. His certainty and clarity in articulating the myriad reasons why only a vote for Donald Trump made sense in this struggle between the ideals of a blessed, great, and noble nation versus the culture of anger, hatred, and propaganda might well have tipped the tender balance of this election.

    Michael, I have for many years admired your profound knowledge and defense of the American ideal. But in this one matter you were utterly put to shame by this even more noble defender of liberty who, again, I have no other means of placing before him my gratitude. I can only now hope that in all such future struggles, you will never again be so short-sighted. May God (in whom we trust) rekindle the embers of enlightened democracy, freedom (liberty), creativity, compassion, the melting pot (e pluribus unum), … and hope.

    • Franco  •  Nov 9, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Well said Henry!

  13. Franco  •  Nov 10, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Finally, after 8 years, I can sleep well at night, with the hope of a brighter American Future!
    God Bless America, and God Bless those who wouldn't fall for the scare-tactics of a total FRAUD LIKE NANI!!!

  14. Nani  •  Nov 10, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Two things I learned from this election:

    1- At least half of America has no decency or civility. It is heartbreaking but there it is.
    2- The GOP house has finally burnt down. Now there are two parties. Democrat and Trumpers. One party is immature and plain naive. The other is nasty, bullying and plain ugly.

    After 10 years, I finally have no skin in the game. It's sad but rather freeing for I no longer feel the need to try to "educate" the masses who will have to learn the hard way to be careful what you wish for. I am no longer apart of their party as I have nothing in common with them. And I can finally let go of the frustration. I can disagree as I would disagree with any liberal for I now view Trumpers–as far away from my ideology as anyone on the Left.

    To Michael: I will remain as I have learned much from you. Please know that there are some that appreciate your honest soul. Please know that I am so very sorry that you had to learn that half the people of the nation you loved REWARDED a bully with the highest office. And may very well re-elect him in 4 years despite what he does or doesn't do. Something happened to decency and civility and principle. I join you in your mourning.

    • Franco  •  Nov 10, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      Nani…. First of all NUKE CODES BABY, NUKE CODES!!!
      Now, let's get down to business. What I have learned about you, is that you are NOT a conservative, never have you been, never will you be.
      Trump is pro-life. You and Hillary are NOT.
      Trump is pro border security. You and Hillary are NOT.
      Trump is pro school choice. You and Hillary are NOT.
      Trump is against onerous regulation. You and Hillary are NOT.
      Trump is for simplifying the tax-code. You and Hillary are NOT.
      Trump is pro Second Ammendment. You and Hillary are NOT.
      Trump is for repealing and replacing Obamacare. You and Hillary are NOT.
      Trump is for lowering tax rates. You and Hillary are NOT.
      On these issues, he is MORE CONSERVATIVE than our past 2 candidates.
      I could go on, but you are a blind, deaf and dumb liberal. You are NO CONSERVATIVE.

      • Nani  •  Nov 11, 2016 at 3:24 pm

        Oh Franco, if you knew my credentials, you would know how ridiculous your statement is. But again, go preach to your Trumpers. When you accuse someone of being a RINO or a pretend conservative, it has about as much punch as accusing them of not being a Whig. There is NO conservative party. Trump and your gang burnt it down. There are no conservatives period. Nothing. Nada.

        Oh and in case you missed it; there is no Hilary to compare Trump with. She lost.

      • Franco  •  Nov 11, 2016 at 8:10 pm

        Nani… You have NO CREDENTIALS, other than the foolishness that you spout here.
        Trump is more conservative than your past 2 previous, establishment picks.
        The only one talking about RINOS is you. You have called Trump a RINO throughout this election. BTW, not only did Hillary lose, so did you

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