Polls Increasingly Confirming that America Is a Dictatorship

Eric Zuesse

Gallup headlined on December 18th, “Americans View Government as Nation’s Top Problem in 2017”. Their report made clear that though this finding was unprecedented, it’s part of a longer-term trend, toward Americans naming America’s own “government as the most important problem facing the nation.” In a democracy, the public do not view the nation’s government to be (as in America) their enemy (which is the case if they view the “government as the most important problem facing the nation”). Americans increasingly view the Government as their enemy.

In a dictatorship, only the people who control the government are satisfied with the government; but, in a democracy, the public are satisfied with the government — or else that government will be replaced in elections by people who control the government and who do provide government that the public approve of. In the United States, we’re instead moving in the exact opposite direction: steadily going from one government to another, none of which wins the public’s approval; and the present American government winning the public’s approval even less than its predecessors did. This is not the situation that exists in authentic democracies. It’s what one expects to find in a country that’s ruled by a dictatorship. Dictators don’t need to worry so much about polls, because they don’t represent the public; they exploit the public — they use the public.

The only scientific study that has yet been done on the question of whether the U.S. is, in fact, run by a democratic government, or instead by a dictatorial one (specifically by an oligarchy, or a government that represents only the richest citizens), was published in September 2014, and it found clearly that the U.S. is definitely not a democracy, but the other type: that “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy”, whereas “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy”; and, furthermore, that, “The real-world impact of elites upon public policy may be still greater” than their statistics indicate, because the researchers weren’t able to measure the impact that the super-rich have on policy, but only the impact that the rich have on policy (versus the impact that the total American public have on policy). The rich control America’s Government, but whether the richest do, wasn’t able to be researched, as of 2014.

This academic study’s scientific methodology was so good, so that no one, as of yet, in the more than three years since its publication, has been able to find any flaw in its data or methodology. Its headline, like its writing, was as dull as possible, “Testing Theories of American Politics”, and this (and especially its atrocious writing) might at least partially explain why America’s mainstream press overwhelmingly has ignored that seminal and landmark study in the social sciences, and especially has ignored that study’s enormous implications, regarding contemporary U.S. politics and government. (A vastly clearer presentation of that study, and of its findings, can be found here in this 6-minute video summary of it.)

Increasingly after that time, particularly after Donald Trump’s becoming U.S. President on 20 January 2017, polls are confirming strongly that what this scientific analysis said, describes, even more starkly than before, the American reality — that the U.S. federal Government now blatantly ignores public opinion, and is controlled instead only by the rich.

One example of this phenomenon was recently headlined by me “Poll: By 2-to-1, Americans Oppose Moving U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem”, and it reported that in the only two published national polls in the U.S. that were taken prior to Trump’s announcement that the U.S. Embassy in Israel will be moved from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem — one having been a November 2017 poll of 2,000 Americans, published on December 11th, and the other being a September 2017 poll of 1,000 U.S. Jews — the overall U.S. public opposed any such move by 63% to 31%, and U.S. Jews opposed it by around similar percentages (though the polling-questions on the two polls differed significantly and therefore their findings are not directly comparable). Furthermore, that article also linked to another question which was included in the November poll, and which showed that only a minority of Americans — almost all of whom are Democrats — believe that Russia is a “foe” of the United States; and, of course, the U.S. federal Government (even the existing Republican one) does consider Russia, more than any other country, to be America’s foe; so, that, too, presents a stark contrast between the Government and its public.

Furthermore, on December 14th, Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager, the pollster Mark Penn, whom she had mis-cast into the role of her campaign’s strategist in 2008, headlined at The Hill, “Mueller, FBI face crisis in public confidence”, and he summarized numerous polls which were finding that whereas Americans overwhelmingly distrust President Donald Trump, Americans distrust even more the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that’s trying to find reasons to impeach and remove him from office. Americans are getting increasingly scared of their Government, and now distrust both sides of it.

Another addition to these polls that show America’s public to be ignored by America’s Government (other than for the public to be manipulated by means of the major newsmedia that the billionaires who control this Government own), was also issued on December 18th, and this poll was headlined “Half The Public Say Their Taxes Will Go Up Under GOP Plan”. It scientifically sampled 806 Americans, and reported that:

“Nearly half the American public (47%) disapprove of the tax reform bills passed by the Senate and House and just 26% approve. … Strong disapproval (35%) of the proposal far outweighs strong approval (13%). … In ‘swing’ counties where the margin of victory for either candidate was less than ten points, 30% approve of the plan compared with 38% who disapprove. … Many Americans see this bill more as an attempt by Republicans to gain a political victory and would rather see Congress scrap this plan and start over. … Half of the public (50%) predict that the federal taxes they pay will go up with the plan now under consideration by Congress. Just 14% say their taxes will go down. … The public was much more optimistic right before Trump took the oath of office in January. Back then, two-thirds expected that the middle class would benefit from the policies of a Trump administration.”

All polls show that the American public believe overwhelmingly that only the rich will benefit from the Trump/Republican tax-law changes. (If purely the long-term impacts, such as the resultant soaring public debt, are considered, then this perception, by the public, of the tax-law changes, is almost certainly accurate.) The blatancy with which U.S. federal policy violates what the polls show that the American public overwhelmingly want (such as reducing the federal debt), and imposes instead upon the public what they clearly don’t want (such as increasing that debt), is now stunning.

Such findings provide yet additional evidence that the far more extensively documented findings in the massive study “Testing Theories of American Politics” apply with special force today, probably even more so than they did in the period from 1981 to 2002, which was the period that that empirical study had examined in detail. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter expressed publicly on 28 July 2015 (even before Trump was President), that, “Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members.” He was stating what is, by now, an increasingly proven fact. America is a dictatorship.

However, current U.S. Government office-holders haven’t publicly expressed any such view, although the Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate whom Hillary Clinton ‘beat’ in 2016, Bernie Sanders, has come the closest to saying it.

It’s not even clear, however, whether a majority of Americans actually want a democratic government. On 9 September 2015, the YouGov poll headlined “Could a coup really happen in the United States?” (which question presumed that a U.S. coup hadn’t already happened, such as on 9 December 2000, or on 22 November 1963, though there is evidence that it happened in both cases), and YouGov reported that “when people are asked whether they would hypothetically support the military stepping in to take control from a civilian government which is beginning to violate the constitution, 43% of Americans would support the military stepping in while 29% would be opposed.” Perhaps many in that large 43% plurality of Americans were somehow blissfully ignorant that the American Government routinely not only was “beginning to violate” but routinely had been and were violating, the U.S. Constitution, such as by placing onto its Supreme Court, anti-Constitutional ‘Justices’ who arbitrarily label political money as “speech” that’s unlimitedly protected by the First Amendment, so that unlimited political spending by billionaires can effectively control the U.S. Government (such oligarchy as is now scientifically established to be the case), or by violating the Constitution in so many other ways, such as by simply not enforcing certain laws in certain cases, such as by refusing to prosecute the banksters whose frauds caused (and who profited from) the 2008 financial crash — they perpetrated a massive unpunished crime against the public, and this is supposed to be ‘democracy’. But regardless: a 43%-to-29% plurality of the nation’s public are so pro-military as to favor a U.S. coup under that vague condition; they would prefer the military, an intrinsically anti-democratic authoritarian institution, to take direct control over the U.S. Government — as if there could be some valid excuse for this intrinsically dictatorial institution to overthrow the established and supposedly legal government, and to replace it by one that’s not just supposedly, but blatantly, illegal to be in control of the Government. This would mean that America’s billionaires — people who already own and profit from the military’s weapons-making firms — will take control of America, even if they don’t already have control. They control the military-industrial complex, because they control the Deep State that, in any capitalist country, IS the military-industrial complex. They control the weapons-manufacturing firms such as Lockheed Martin, and also the megabanks, and the lobbying firms, and all the rest of the systematic corruption (the Deep State), which controls the U.S. government.

That same poll (question 13) also asked “Do you believe that the military has a duty to protect the Constitution against domestic enemies?” and 72% answered “Yes” and 12% answered “No.” Thus, by a 6-to-1 margin, Americans don’t know the difference between the function that the military and CIA are supposed to perform, versus the function that the police and the FBI and entire Justice Department are supposed to perform. As if that’s not frightening enough about America, Americans now support the nation’s military-industrial complex above all other institutions, public or private. The war-making institution isn’t used only for defense (though its PR euphemism is ‘the defense establishment’ and it should instead be called “the invasion-and-coup establishment”), but it is also — and now almost exclusively — used for invasions and coups that are based on lies (from ‘the defense establishment’, boosting their own business), such as invasions and coups against Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, and Ukraine 2014. Instead of despising that institution of conquest, Americans now admire it, above all others — and far above all the rest of the U.S. Government.

So: “Could a coup really happen in the United States?” A coup wouldn’t even be necessary in order to produce here dictatorship, which has already long existed in this country. And, while domestic spending is being slashed by the existing U.S. regime, military spending (which already is as large as the next ten largest national military budgets in the world) is soaring. Why would America’s generals want to perpetrate a coup? They’re already getting almost everything they want — and without the opprobrium they’d suffer from a coup. It would be plain stupid for them to do that. The very question which was asked in that poll was a bad joke, but a full 72% of the U.S. public not only didn’t ridicule the idea, but actually endorsed it. They endorsed what’s commonly called a ‘police state’, but which actually is a “military state” — rule by the military. Maybe that’s what we’ve already got. But, behind the military-industrial complex, stand the nation’s billionaires — the people who really run U.S. foreign policies. If that brute fact can’t become understood by the American people, then not only does democracy no longer exist in the U.S., but the basis to create (or restore) democracy here is likewise absent. Americans are big supporters of the military-industrial complex. The U.S. public have been deceived about what it is, and what it isn’t — so deceived, that they place it at the top, as the most respected of all institutions. How much more upside-down — black is white, white is black — like Big Brother’s “Newspeak,” could the U.S. public be duped to be, than that? If America’s invasion-and-coup institution is at the top, then why are all the others held in lower esteem than this — the most-corrupt of all institutions in America?


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • thomas h

    You can’t have a dictatorship without a dictator. Considering all the overt and deep state machinations against Trump, it is laughable to call him a dictator.

    • It’s a military dictatorship – from time to time the names and faces change while the policies remain the same.

      Then there’s US exceptionalism, US politicians have placed themselves above international laws.

      • nomadd

        i dont think so. if it is dictatorship its an intel dictatorship. the intels are calling the shots. the intel coup was 1963. the subsequent coups (2001) were just further consolidation of their power.

      • nomadd

        part of the reason for the deep state/msm uproar over trump (msm is an integral part of the deep state) is that he is the first president in decades who was not a cia asset or cia family. bush, clinton, bush, obama. its all in the fascist family.

        • How does that follow to what I wrote?

          Trump has been a longtime friend of Kissinger, and the Clintons and has has been hiring former Bush administration staff into his administration.

          • nomadd

            you said military dictatorship. i said intel dictatorship. i dont understand your confusion. i am allowed to disagree arent i? it obviously follows from what i wrote earlier. whats the problem?

          • Spare me your confusion, you’re the first person whom has ever mentioned –
            intel dictatorship – where does the term come from, where was it coined?

            I’ve read plenty about the Deep State, the Shadow government and that the US resembles a military dictatorship, but I’ve never read about the term you mentioned.

            The US has been at war for over 224 years out of a total of 243 or 93% of the time – who benefits – the MIC and the masters of Neocons whom also control the Deep State, the alphabet soup intelligence community is part of all that, although mostly a sideshow.

          • nomadd

            the confusion is yours. why you are making a big deal out of this is beyond me.
            “but I’ve never read about the term you mentioned.”

            so what? youve heard of it now.

          • nomadd

            “the alphabet soup intelligence community is part of all that, although mostly a sideshow.

            you are entitled to your opinion. and thats all it is. and i am entitled to mine.

            what is the deal with you people?

          • nomadd

            “Trump has been a longtime friend of Kissinger, and the Clintons and has has been hiring former Bush administration staff into his administration.”

            oh. i think i understand. you took my comment as advocacy of trump. which its not. get over your antitrump hysteria and you might be able to understand that it was a simple statement of fact.

            just because hes not a cia asset doesnt make him a good guy, confused resister.

      • nomadd
        • There’s another military dictatorship, with a little help and whomever is willing to become their stooge.

          For those that in the business of financing kings and governments….

          So at the bottom of it all is a financial motive, then how did it get this bad, part that is explained by MLK jr who pointed how nations become indebted to their creditors in one of his famous speeches – MLK quoted from a book titled ” None dare call it conspiracy by Gary Allen and Larry Abraham on page 35 – The question is asked….

          Where do governments get the enormous amounts of money that they need? – most of course comes from taxation – but government often spend more than they are willing to tax from their citizens – so governments are forced to borrow.

          The public is led to believe that the government borrows from the people – through saving bonds – actually only the smallest percentage of the national debt is held by individuals in this form – most government bonds except those owned by the government itself through its trust funds are held by vast banking firms known as international banks – for centuries there has been big money to be made – by international bankers in financing governments and kings – such operators however are faced with certain phony profits – we know that smaller banks operate to protects themselves by taking collateral but what kind of collateral can you get from a government or a king ?

          The process through which one collects a debt from a government or a monarch is not a subject taught in the business schools or the universities and most of us, never having been in the business of financing Kings or governments have not given the problem much thought. But there is a King financing business, and to those that can ensure collection, it is a lucrative business.

          An economics professor named Stuard Crane notes – that there are two means used to loan money to governments and kings and two means of collecting on that money.

          Whenever a business firm borrows big money – the creditor obtains – an influence in management to protect its investment – like a business – no government can borrow big money unless that government is willing to surrender – to the creditor – some of its sovereignty – suddenly international bankers who have loaned hundreds of Billions of dollars to governments around the world command considerable influence in the policies of such government. [ From a speech by MLK]

          • nomadd

            governed by the wealthy

            “With the level of wealth among
            Congress and the Executive Office and the ever-changing proposed tax changes by Washington, I
            think that common sense will tell us that at least some of these members will
            back changes that benefit themselves and their net worth. At the very
            least, a very significant number of them have absolutely no idea of what it is
            like to be a member of the “Main Street Class” who have to worry
            about debt payments and making ends meet at the end of the month.”

          • The link is a keeper.

            US members of congress are an embarrassment to humanity, they’re reminiscent of the pigs in Orwells animal farm.

            At the same time the US public is partly to blame for not being more critical of what happens to them and in their name.

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      • Eric Zuesse

        Go to hell, spammer!

    • Eric Zuesse

      The article isn’t about Trump. Your reading-comprehension is exceedingly poor.

      • nomadd

        who is it about? who or what is the dictator?

        • Eric Zuesse

          the U.S. aristocracy, mainly; and their agents (including the boards of the Wall Street banks, and the K-Street lobbying firms, and the law firms, and the ‘news’media, all of the aristocracy’s agents) are also but subordinately to blame as the dictators. According to Forbes, the U.S. has around 569 billionaires; and I think that they’re probably sufficient to constitute America’s aristocracy; but maybe a few of the centi-millionaires also play significant parts in the operation that controls the U.S. Government, the “Deep State,” America’s dictatorship, “Big Brother” in 1984.

          • nomadd

            so now youre saying its not a military dictatorship. make up your mind.

          • nomadd

            ‘ to say the US is a dictatorship is not helpful. It is a corporate oligarchy.’
            Dictatorship is a form of government in which a country or a group of countries is ruled by one person (a dictator) or by a polity, and power (social and political) is exercised through various mechanisms to ensure that the entity’s power remains strong.’

            Our dictator is certainly not a person. It certainly isnt any of the figureheads installed as president. If it is a dictatorship, which I do not believe it is, the dictator is a polity. I have suggested the intel community as this putative dictator. But I dont know if the intels can be considered a polity. So heres a second suggestion. What is the most powerful strongest polity in the United States?


          • nomadd

            And if you didnt like that, youre going to hate this.
            Not saying I necessarily agree w the author but he makes a good point. More valid than yours.

          • nomadd

            more israeli/zionist control of usa. naturally dictators want to censor their subjects.

      • nomadd

        ah, i see by your like for this comment
        “It’s a military dictatorship”
        that you think its the military. i disagree

      • thomas h

        Suggesting a dictatorship, you implied it. Then we are back to “you can’t have a dictatorship without a dictator” and/or “you suck at titling things”.

        Rule by an oligarchy is not a dictatorship.

      • thomas h

        You could have gone with “THE US IS A ONE PARTY STATE” and gotten no argument, but if you try to claim the US is totalitarian you look silly.

        The US IS authoritarian, to a degree, but, in comparison to actual dictatorships? Not so much.

  • paul

    I believe that this is exactly how Germany was. People didn’t really want a dictatorship, but they worshipped the military and wanted a ‘strong’ ruler

  • Statism Is A Cult

    14th paragraph;
    “That same poll (question 13) also asked “Do you believe that the military has a duty to protect the Constitution against domestic enemies?”

    Military personnel swear an oath to protect the U.S. constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. But that does not mean they take over the country in a military coup or dictatorship. If the U.S. military came to the Americans peoples defense in this manor, they would know who the REAL enemy was. Not some overseas bogeyman hiding in caves, but the enemies of the constitution in Washington.

    “Soldiers, please come home, we need you to protect us from the government.”

    • Even public servants working inside the Deep State are under oath, members of the US congress are also under oath, everyone working for the numerous alphabet soup security agencies are also under oath.

      The problem appears to be that so far, no one appears to have figured out how to hold those accountable for breaking their oath.

      The few that have the guts to stand up are swiftly dealt with while those that have broken their oath have nothing to fear from their superiors for they’re all in the same boat.

      That old quote by Upton Sinclair comes to mind – Nothing makes mankind understand something as when his/or her next paycheck depends on not understanding something.

      http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/06/just-following-orders-you-have-the-power-to-end-unlawful-wars-of-aggression-us-constitution-destruction-debt-slavery.html“> Just following orders? YOU have the power to end unlawful Wars of Aggression, US Constitution destruction, debt slavery by Carl Herman

    • sparticus

      You do not need soldiers, they can only f THINGS UP! Give me 1-million angry citizens and I can give you the world. Anyone can do it. Put 1-million protesters on WALL STREET and the NWO cannot Profit. You will get anything you desire, America … FIGURE IT OUT ALREADY!

      You voluntarily serve. Nobody forces you.

    • Then he will be given the opportunity to spend stupendous sums of money on highly powered attorneys while he gets to enjoy the very due process that he’s denied his victims.

      • Katherine

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        • Eric Zuesse

          Go to hell, spammer!

      • Linda

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  • HaywoodZarathustra

    Dictatorship? It’s a full blown Papa Doc banana republic.

  • Sparticus

    The US is the Roman Empire to the Perverse. America sports a legal code with millions of laws –all applicable to the common slave– and the slave will be abused by the worlds largest prison industrial complex.

    Just Look on the back of your Dollar, Slaves, it is all obvious, because the PTB enjoy poking fun at the common while abusing them. The Pyramid is a Symbol of Slavery and Oppression. Also, it is an illustration of your economy, the top 10-percent living the dream and the rest of you SLAVES are breaking your necks while they walk all over you.

    Wake up and Smell the Coffee, People!

  • Flagged for spamming.

  • zorbatheturk

    America is secretly ruled by Google.

  • nomadd

    Who could it be now? In 63 now?

    Ike warned us about its architects, the military industrial complex. Kennedy warned about the plot.

    “The high office of the President has been used to foment a plot
    to destroy the American’s freedom and before I leave office, I
    must inform the citizens of this plight.”
    -President Kennedy was assassinated on the
    22nd of November, 1963 ten days after he
    made this speech to Columbia University
    on Nov 12, 1963.
    He knew what you are finding out now.

  • Black Swan

    The U.S. has been an Economic and Financial dictatorship since the creation of the private NGO known as The Federal Reserve.in 1914.