America divided

The United States has never been more divided and unhappy than it is right now, as it stages a presidential inauguration under tight security. The stunning mob invasion of Capitol Hill is the most visible evidence of this, but the COVID-19 pandemic is lurking in the background. This has had a terrible impact on human life and well-being; the United States now leads the world in confirmed cases and fatalities.

According to the Johns Hopkins University database, more than 23 million Americans had contracted the sickness by January 14, 2021, with approximately 400,000 deaths. The disease itself, as well as government measures to battle it, has resulted in a significant economic downturn and massive social upheavals, culminating in a riot in the nation’s capital. While Donald Trump’s unwillingness to recognise the election’s legitimacy began the epidemic, it has produced an atmosphere of sorrow and anger among many Americans.

Political ramifications

The Declaration of Independence, written nearly 250 years ago, declares that “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” are “inalienable rights” for all people. COVID-19 has put these rights in jeopardy. Although the pandemic’s hugely detrimental economic impact and government efforts to stop it became obvious almost immediately, the pandemic’s devastating psychological impacts took longer to recognise.

According to new survey research, the latter impacts are pervasive and have resulted in significant declines in life satisfaction. In the same manner as COVID cases and fatalities have been concentrated in vulnerable populations, the less educated, those with lower incomes, and ethnic minorities have all suffered the psychological consequences.

Life satisfaction has a variety of crucial implications, some of which are political in nature. Unsurprisingly, supporters of Joe Biden rated the voting process well, whereas most Trump backers were strongly critical, according to our Cometrends post-election survey, which included 1,959 participants from the pre-election study. However, we discovered that persons with low life satisfaction were more inclined to believe the election was rigged.

Views on the election from different political parties

The deep party and ideological animosities that have fueled American people during the Trump years have contributed to these different judgments. However, statistical controls for these variables demonstrate that life satisfaction had a significant independent impact on election fairness judgments.

The storming of the Capitol Building in Washington is only the latest in a series of violent protests and damaging riots that have erupted in the United States over the last year. The terrible incident encapsulates America’s deep political and psychological depression during the Trump era. One key effect is that life satisfaction has decreased, particularly among the less fortunate portions of the population.

The incoming president will have a lot on his plate. Among the most crucial will be restoring political civility and assisting in the improvement of wellness in a fragmented and contentious electorate.