It’s safe to say most people think of Valentine’s Day as a time when love and romance is honored and celebrated, a happy annual occasion that stirs up the warm and fuzzies.
As a young grade schooler, I remember going to the store and picking out packs of simple valentines to “send” to each of my classmates (innocently, we gave them to both boys and girls, no sexual connotations involved), to be placed conveniently in paper bags taped to the back of each kid’s chair. A few particularly ambitious youths (with parents who were willing to buy extra stuff) would include candy or chocolate bars with their little “thinking of you on Valentine’s Day” notes complete with scribbled names and soon-to-be discarded colorful wrappers. It was kind of like trading baseball cards but with red, pink and purple hearts and little frogs and bunny rabbits instead of players, bats and gloves… and bubble gum. The event was fun and sweet (pardon the pun). As I recall, it made us smile and laugh, a basic gesture of goodwill to let your friends know you were thinking of them. As adolescents and adults, the traditions of giving changed somewhat and the day took on a different meaning altogether. But Valentine’s Day still evokes feelings of contentment and gladness, no politics to be found anywhere. Republicans and Democrats go all out today. But Valentine’s Day is but one day in a full calendar of 365 sunrises and sunsets. A recent survey revealed that Americans are a lot less happy than they used to be. Could politics have anything to do with it? Economist Stephen Moore doesn’t typically write on social subjects like happiness or misery, but last week he speculated on why liberals in particular are so discontented in these troubled times. In a piece titled, “Why Are Liberals So Miserable?”, Moore wrote at CNS News:
“For most of the past 50 years, about 1 in 10 people have described themselves as unhappy. In 2021, 1 in 4 say they are unhappy. Typically, almost 1 in 3 say they are ‘very happy,’ and now less than 1 in 5 do. The happiness index is falling like a stone. People are depressed...
“[H]ere's what's most interesting about the results of the happiness survey. The people with the most significant happiness deficiencies are Democratic voters. Liberals are miserable. Only 1 in 6 Democratic voters say they are ‘very happy.’ Almost twice as many Republicans say they are ‘very happy.’
“Why is that? I have several admittedly unproven hypotheses…”
Without going through Moore’s entire list of premises, he suggested liberals are much less religious, patriotic, and interested in getting married and having children than conservatives; liberals are less likely to be working and more likely to be on government assistance; liberals also live their lives in fear (global warming and COVID); and, there is the geographical separation between conservatives camped in red states and liberals camped in blue states… And, “perhaps they just miss hating Trump.”
The last reason is probably the most accurate. Look at what’s happened at CNN. The once highly regarded (by some people) establishment media network has lost 90 percent of its viewing audience in one year’s time, several of its lead “news” personalities have been fired or resigned because of scandals (sexual and otherwise) and its president, Jeff Zucker, quit (bailed out?), citing an unreported (but everyone apparently knew) inappropriate relationship with a coworker as the rationale to head for the door.
For the better part of half a decade CNN survived as the media’s chief Trump tormentor, a collection of losers and outcasts who jumped on every rumor, tidbit of salacious gossip or strand of innuendo to paint the outsider candidate and then president as a scoundrel of the highest order, a man who colluded with a foreign enemy to steal an election. Trump haters knew they could always find negative spin on every news story at good ol’ CNN. It didn’t take much effort to turn the dial -- or push the remote buttons -- to find a smirking face there dissing on The Donald.
One acquaintance who described himself as “middle of the road” and a nominal Republican once told me that he preferred to watch CNN to get his national news because the network was “centrist” and not slanted in either partisan direction like Fox News and MSNBC. No amount of persuasion and evidence to the contrary worked to change his mind, either. For years he argued that he couldn’t vote for Trump’s reelection because the president was “too divisive” and bad for the country. And senile Joe Biden would be an improvement because the career-long swamp dweller “loves America.”
This sounded straight out of CNN to me. And some experts assert that media bias has no effect on individual political attitudes. Pfft. No wonder liberals are so unhappy.
But why is there such misery among Democrats in 2022? Moore hit the nail on the head in many respects, but I’ll add a few elaborations of my own.
First, Democrats are miserable because they sense it’s nearing the end of an era for them. Think about it. Every well-known national Democrat leader is either senile or on his or her way to being there. Foremost among them is their president who is a very ancient 79-years-old. We all know seasoned citizens who project youthful vigor even at an advanced age (like Trump), but Democrats can’t keep up.
Joe Biden often trots out to speeches and public appearances to provide the inkling that his joints are all well-oiled and functioning properly, but his mouth quickly ends the favorable and false notion. He mumbles, stumbles, gaffes and butchers words and phrases. He can’t remember names and often wanders off track. Then there was the occasion where the man fell -- three times -- while attempting to reach the door of Air Force One. It’s depressing.
What about Nancy Pelosi? She turns 82 at the end of next month and seems like she’s been around forever. Tucker Carlson recently joked that her face looks as plastic and artificial as the late Michael Jackson’s did after multiple surgeries. No matter how she tries to project otherwise, the woman comes across as a bitter elitist hag who looks down on ordinary people.
There are more. “Chucky” Schumer (71 years-old). Bernie Sanders (80). Steny Hoyer (83 in June). James Clyburn (82 in July) … the list goes on and on.
Republicans have some dour old crows (Trump’s word for Mitch McConnell) too, but generally speaking, there are a good number of happy warriors in the party with a full tank’s worth of vigor. In addition to Trump, there’s Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Sen. John Kennedy, Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Marco Rubio… and many, many others. Impressions mean things.
Another reason Democrats are miserable is due to the utter crash and burn fate of Joe Biden’s agenda, which remains on life support with little chance of revival much less full recovery.
Democrats were giddy when they defeated Trump (fraud notwithstanding), but once in office, they flamed out on most of their legislative priority wish-list. They failed to push through a complete federal takeover of state elections; their absurd “climate” agenda is leaking hot air; their mission to transform America into a European-style womb-to-tomb socialist democracy was leveled by Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema’s refusal to nuke the filibuster.
The party did manage to pass a hugely bloated COVID “relief” bill on a strict party-line vote, most of the loot did not go to treating the actual virus itself. Democrats also worked with a number of wishy-washy Republicans to enact an “infrastructure” package that’s also hugely expensive and allocates only a tiny fraction of the dough to actual roads and bridges.
But the bulk of Biden’s campaign promises now lie on the cutting room floor, tiny fragments of Democrat hopes and dreams and boasts and boondoggle fantasies that will never see the light of day or trillions sprinkled to party constituents. Democrats ramped up the scare tactic hyperbole in everything they did, so it’s no surprise that the party grassroots is miserable now.
There will be no “Build Back Better”, so the economy will sputter (according to Democrats). There won’t be any “voting rights” expansions, so minorities won’t be able to vote. There won’t be any influx of new “clean energy” jobs, so the atmosphere will continue to warm and beachfront properties, like Barack Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard estate, will soon be swamped by the rising oceans.
Or so they say. Humbug!
Lastly, the public is heartily sick of COVID fearmongering, so Democrats are losing their last-ditch justification to keep the “sheep” silently in their pens without complaint or challenge. The Kens and Karens of the world will have to go back to dictating to people over the quality of healthy soccer snacks on weekends. Oh, the horrors! Where shall they go? What shall they do?
The U.S. spent more combatting COVID than it did fighting the Germans and Japanese in World War II. And the spending will go on. For what? Anyone happy about this?
Democrats are gloomy these days, for good reasons. When they set their expectations too high for senile Joe Biden, they were destined for a letdown. Expecting others to conform to their radical whims was too much to ask of a freedom-loving American population, and now there’s nothing left for them to be happy about, even on Valentine’s Day.
Joe Biden economy
Democrat welfare bill
Build Back Better
13 House Republicans Infrastructure bill
Marjorie Taylor Green
2024 presidential election