27% of Americans view the federal government as their enemy according to a Pew Research Center poll which was released in November. That number is up from 19% in 1996. While there appears to be some partisan division with a Democrat in the White House, there still remains broad popular revulsion with the government. 35% of Republicans, 12% of Democrats and 34% of Independent voters said the government was their enemy.
The biggest problems identified by those polled included Congress at number one with Politics at number 2. While “Politics,” which includes sub groupings of the “liberal agenda” or “conservative agenda” can be explained away by partisan politics, there remains broad based dissatisfaction with other issues such as taxes, lies, corporate influence, corruption, debt, the economy, joblessness and other categories that are tangible issues that impact all Americans, regardless of their political leanings.
Americans overwhelmingly agree that change is needed. Fully 59% say the government needs “very major reform,” up from 37% in 1997. Though the question remains whether reform will significantly shake up the ruling elite’s grip on the country. Popular movements like Occupy Wall Street on the left, and the Tea Party on the right were immediately co-opted by the political establishment’s two major parties. Perhaps the only option would be a full dismantling of the political system.