Imagined Communities in Review: A Postcolonial and Modern Revisitation

 Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism is one of the most celebrated and debated intellectual works of the 20th century. In this seminal piece, Anderson lays out his own theoretical definition of the nation, which is informed by the work of other thinkers such as Renan and Gellner, as well as a robust analysis of modern history centered on the Americas, Europe and several colonial territories. Having concluded that the nation is, as the title suggests, imagined, Anderson examines the cultural process of its creation. In doing so, he hopes to clarify why such abstract denominations of humanity can command such profound emotional followings and inspire sacrifice as they do.

    There are several key features of Anderson’s definition that contrast with other theorists’ understandings of nationality. His particular theory of nationalism is centered around the contention that the nation is “an imagined political community– and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign.” He considers nations ‘limited’ because no matter how large, they are always defined as finite and exclusive, in relation to others that lie beyond their perceived boundaries. ‘Sovereign’ has to do the with the historical definition of nations as a departure from other forms of dominion, principally the religious hold of the Catholic Church over European kingdoms. The use of the term ‘community’ is derived from Anderson’s view of the nation as a “deep, horizontal comradeship” which commands an emotional allegiance from those who belong to it.

In this understanding of the nation, Anderson seeks to explain its seemingly paradoxical nature, which he describes as “the objective modernity of nations to the historian’s eye vs. their subjective antiquity in the eyes of nationalists” and “the political power of nationalisms vs. their philosophical poverty and even incoherence.” He often refers to the nation as a ‘cultural artefact’ which is capable of changing over time and being transposed across distance. Ultimately Anderson diverges from other prominent scholars and summarizes his thesis in the claim that “the creation of these artefacts towards the end of the eighteenth century was the spontaneous distillation of a complex ‘crossing’ of discrete historical forces; but that, once created, they became ‘modular,’ capable of being transplanted […] to a great variety of social terrains.” Anderson spends the remainder of the text explaining the role of these historical forces and how they intersected in various cases, resulting in the multitude of mature and emerging nationalities present in the modern world. He focuses on the development of vernacular languages that wrested power from elites, and print-as-commodity facilitating the spread of information and notions of simultaneity, as key historical forces which intersected to spark the development of nation-states.

    To better understand the reasoning behind Anderson’s convictions about nationalism, it is informative to contextualize Imagine Communities in the time period during which it was produced. As Anderson’s work was first published in 1983, there was a sizable sample of regional decolonization movements in the preceding fifty years that had resulted in the formation of new African and Asian nations. This left the major powers with a host of new states to contend with, especially as the Cold War’s bipolar international system led into the negotiation of alliances and fortification. Thinkers such as Anderson wrote for an intellectual audience– in his case, the English intelligentsia– who sought to inform their opinions about foreign policy in a theoretical rather than strategic decision-making capacity. In short, they were the educated non-military elite with time for cerebral reflection on the historical roots of revolutions seen in the paper.

Marxism was also a topic of more practical scholarly discussion during the Cold War period; particularly its hotly contested claim that capitalist class struggle was the root of all modern war. This would logically preclude the possibility of warfare between Marxist states. Why, then, did the Red Army often find itself at war with revolutionary ethnic minorities of its own realm? Such internal strife seemed to suggest that there was some other, more visceral force at work than a shared class struggle that unifies the transnational Marxism. Anderson’s theory applied to this question provides a far more convincing alternative, explaining the Soviet Bloc’s membership as a projection of an imagined Russian cultural identity over surrounding nationalities, rather than a universalist Marxist ideology. Given the eventual worsening of the subdivisions of the Soviet Union, and continual splintering over ethnoracial lines, nationalism seems to have been at the root of conflict even within (not just between) the bipolar system’s two major players.

    A major strength of how Anderson supports his theory of nationalism is that he credibly demonstrates an understanding of social structures in the diverse areas and periods he writes about. Anderson uses this base of knowledge to broaden the discussion of nationalism beyond the Eurocentric view of other authorities on the subject. One of his most compelling and unique additions to the study of nationalism is the claim that North and South American Creoles were the first pioneers of the imagined community, providing a model for the development of the nation which was later paralleled in the European cultural revolutions of the 19th century. His knowledge of Spanish American demographic nuances and early nationalist rhetoric from Mexico suggest that Anderson has a level of insight which Europe-focused provincialism has missed by viewing early America as a monolithic colonial frontier. Drawing heavily on firsthand accounts by Jesuit missionaries, as well as early examples of vernacular journalism that united disparate areas of Spanish America, Anderson effectively captures popular sentiments that suggest a deep identification with a shared Creole ancestry.

Though he does well to acknowledge the agency of postcolonial territories in developing national identities via language, print capitalism and education, the Englishman Anderson occasionally falls into the trap of ignoring his own nation’s historical tendency to suppress such efforts. In many cases, colonies were not simply awaiting the organic alignment of factors to sprout nationalist ideology, but were victim to deliberate national suppression by their imperial conquerors. Particularly in Chapter 5, where he uses the development of Ireland as a case study, Anderson conveniently glosses over the role that the English played in attempting to eradicate Irish nationalism through colonial homogenization. He paints this as more of an inadvertent byproduct of English nationality being established through language. But in “The Politics of the Irish Language,” NYU’s Sean Cahill highlights the historic importance of Gaelic as a politically symbolic issue of Ireland’s claim to nationhood, and forced Anglicanization as a tactic of English suppression. Banning Gaelic language instruction in public education, as well as targeting Gaelic activists in internment, is a clear case of English hegemony combating the vernacular linguistic aspect of nationalism– which Anderson himself emphasizes earlier in the book as a key force in Western European nations’ individuation from a larger body, in that case the Catholic Church.

    Imagined Communities’ publication has prompted a wide variety of reactions, ranging from theoretical critiques to case studies of emerging imagined national identities.

In Itzigsohn and vom Hau’s “Unfinished Imagined Communities: States, Social Movements, And Nationalism in Latin America,” the sociology researchers use Anderson’s model to analyze trajectories in the development of postcolonial Latin American nations, giving particular attention to the role of modernization. The article recognizes Anderson for filling a gap in the literature regarding nationalism by exploring its origins in the aforementioned chapter on Creole nationalism. “Most theories of nationalism are grounded in European case studies. One of the few notable exceptions is Benedict Anderson’s highly acclaimed Imagined Communities, which argues that early nineteenth-century “creole pioneers” invented nations in the struggle for Independence from Spain, thereby establishing a “blueprint” for nationalism around the globe.”The article also highlights key criticisms that Imagined Communities received from the academic community. Foremost among these is the postmodern view that Anderson mainly focuses on the intellectual elite, failing to fully account for the role of ‘subaltern’ actors in the development of Creole national identity. Nevertheless, the study largely confirms the validity of his analysis concerning Latin-American nations’ development, even as they progressed into the early 20th century.

In a 2006 piece published in the London Review of Books, T.J. Clark poses the question of how technological developments of modernity might influence the formation or reformation of imagined communities since Anderson’s initial publication. He proposes that new ‘technics of representation’ might play a role in reshaping or even subverting established national identities across the world. Clark describes the rapid expansion of visual media such as television as having a potential impact in the development of new transnational citizenries, likening the impact of ‘screen capitalism’ to that of the advent of print capitalism in Anderson’s argument. Interestingly, it is unclear whether he believes modernization has resulting in new nationalisms or the rehashing of old ones, as the main example he uses is religious in nature. “It seems to me that a complex rejigging of the balance of forces between nation and ummah, nation and congregation, nation and jihad, nation and chosen people, is underway in many parts of the world – and not only under the banner of Islam. And this has something to do with the new opportunities offered by screen capitalism.” He later states more explicitly the relevance of Imagined Communities and the parallels to print capitalism in modern technology’s impact: “A shuffling and grating of imagined communities is taking place. And this is connected, as I say, with the arrival of new technics of representation. Imagined Communities gives us the beginning of a way to think about just such matters, in its treatment of the effect of print capitalism on the day-to-day imagining of those things called ‘languages’, and its reflections on the role of the newspaper and the novel.” Clark makes a compelling argument that even as new modes of cultural expression and communication (‘technics of representation’) have developed, Anderson provides a historical model that is suggestive of their implications for present-day nations.

At a point in history where liberal internationalism has fallen out of favor and perceptions of national identity are again the focus of domestic politics, it is critical for academics to have a coherent explanation for the phenomenon of nationality. Anderson adds to this conversation by providing an exhaustive theory, grounded in multiple national histories and extraordinarily deep evidence, that pushes back on the primordialist viewpoint. Most importantly, he reorients the entire debate by explaining nationalism as a human construction centered around often-shaky perceptions of a shared past. Thus, he shows nationalism not to be uniquely modern nor rooted firmly in the past; rather, it resides in present reimaginings of a cultural past, which become more important to nationalists than the actual events which transpired.

Considering the significant political power that nationalist agendas still command in major states, Imagined Communities is surely relevant to the current world. But perhaps it needs to be revised in light of new levels of global interconnectivity. Humanity has developed technologies that make geography less relevant and language more universal, allowing for the conception of communities Anderson could not have anticipated in 1983. To build on his work, further research on nationalism in the modern age should seek to incorporate developments such as Clark’s ‘screen capitalism’ and, in some cases, lingering disputes over language. Newly produced works dealing with the EU or USA might seek to address the question: if Anderson correctly characterizes the nation as a mutable but finite category, what developments could prompt today’s nationalist ideologues to tighten or expand their definitions of national belonging?

Bibliography

Anderson, Benedict R. O’G. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of

Nationalism. New York: Verso, 2016.

 

Cahill, Sean. 2007. “The Politics Of The Irish Language”. New York University.

https://as.nyu.edu/content/dam/nyu-as/irelandHouse/documents/0111-0126_PoliticsOfTheIrishLanguage.pdf.

 

Clark, T.J. 2006. “In A Pomegranate Chandelier: Benedict Anderson”. London Review Of Books.

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n18/tj-clark/in-a-pomegranate-chandelier.

 

Itzigsohn, José, and Matthias vom Hau. 2006. “Unfinished Imagined Communities: States,

Social Movements, And Nationalism in Latin America”. Theory And Society 35 (2): 193-212. doi:10.1007/s11186-006-9001-1.

-Omar Essa

Op-Ed: The dangers of political showmanship

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“If we really want to know who is responsible for the mess we’re in, all we have to do is look in the mirror. You and I own this country and we are responsible for what happens to it.”

– Ross Perot

Hyde Park in London is located near the entrance to Buckingham Palace. It’s been hosting free concerts, festivals, fairs, noble duals, and events since the 1500s. During the 19th century when Europeans were passionate about social and political change, people from all over Europe fled to Hyde Park to share their grievances. Today, activists from around the globe flock to Hyde Park to voice their views about anything and everything freely. It has been dubbed the free speech zone for “bewailing.” On any given day, there is enough hot air generated to launch the Goodyear Blimp.

America has been a free speech zone since our founding. Free speech led to The Revolutionary War. It fought wars. It stopped bad wars and ended slavery. It provided equal opportunity. Activists didn’t just talk the talk but walked the walk and made social and political history in America. Their voices were the call to action. Their battle cries were not criticisms for self-enamoration, but for a cause greater than they were. They finished what they started. They weren’t like some activists today that fill social media with so much hot air that climate changers accuse them of global warming.

One of the virtues for those seeking political and social asylum in the New World was freedom of speech and assemblage. America was founded on activism by men of honor whose actions spoke louder than their words. Thomas Paine, our forgotten founder, walked from township to township to motivate passive colonialists to revolt for freedom. During the Revolution, he inspired our soldiers to keep fighting when defeat was on the horizon. If it wasn’t for Paine’s activism, we’d still be subjects instead of citizens.

“A man’s actions say much more than his most noble words.”

– Thomas Paine

Throughout our modern history, the activism of true leaders has made our nation stronger and far better than it would have been without them. Dynamic speakers like Ronald Reagan and Dr. Martin Luther King inspired the actions of others to bring about social and political change that made America a better place for everyone. Real leaders create more leaders than they have followers because:

“There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

– Ronald Reagan

American activists responded to abuse of power by politicians like Huey Long, Franklin Roosevelt, Barack Obama and others. Activist legislators in FDR’s party revolted against his attempt to stack the court with hand-picked justices. Obama, who pledged to unite our nation, divided it soon after he took office. When he laid…

Americans Beg Trump for Secret to Staying So Young and Vibrant

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WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Americans across the country wish that Donald Trump would reveal his secret to staying so young and vibrant, the nation’s personal trainers have confirmed.

According to Tracy Klugian, a fitness professional in St. Louis, “not a day goes by” without one of his clients requesting a physical regimen that will give him or her the youthful appearance and mental sharpness that have made Trump the envy of millions.

“Clients will come in and say, ‘Make me as young and vibrant as Donald Trump,’ ” Klugian said. “I have to warn them that that’s…

Trump, Media Assaults on Omar a New Low for American Politics

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent, @StacyBrownMedia

American politics appears to have hit a new low.

According to reports, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has beefed up security following the vicious attacks she’s received and even news reports that paint her as un-American.

What’s worse, the attacks stem from tweets made against her by President Donald Trump.

Representative, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaking at a Hillary for MN event at the U of MN, October 2018. (Photo: Lorie Shaull / Wikimedia Commons)

“The criticisms of Congresswoman Omar, what Trump has been saying about her, is reprehensible,” said New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a Democratic presidential candidate.

“It is trafficking in Islamophobia, and should be condemned by everyone,” Booker said.

One of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress, Omar has come under repeated attack from the president and others, including Fox News as a result of her questioning America’s relationship with Israel.

“We will never forget,” Trump tweeted in all-capital letters recently, attaching a video that spliced together comments Omar made with footage of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Some media favorable to the president have also attacked Omar and despite death threats made against her, Trump has continued his assault by calling her –without any supporting evidence and against her denials – “anti-Semitic,” and “anti-Israel.”

Booker noted that Trump has also attacked other African American women leaders like California Rep. Maxine Waters.

“The kind of language this president uses, especially about Black women in power, is toxic,” Booker said.

That Trump claims he’s not racist isn’t satisfactory, Booker said.

“It’s not enough to say, I’m not a racist. We must all be anti-racist,” he said.

The rhetoric by Trump and his allies against Omar have resulted…

Trump Pulls Out of Arms Treaty During Speech at N.R.A. Convention

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INDIANAPOLIS — In a speech to National Rifle Association members on Friday that was part political rally and part pep talk, President Trump called himself a champion of gun rights. Then he proved it, whipping out a pen onstage to sign a letter that would effectively cease America’s involvement in an arms treaty designed to regulate the international sale of conventional weapons.

Mr. Trump said that his administration “will never” ratify the Arms Trade Treaty, which seeks to discourage the sale of conventional weapons to countries that do not protect human rights.

Although the accord was brokered by the United Nations and signed by President Barack Obama, it has never been ratified by the Senate. Experts in arms control note that the accord, even if ratified by the Senate, would not require the United States to alter any existing domestic laws or procedures governing how it sells conventional weapons overseas.

Still, Mr. Trump said his decision to sign a letter asking the Senate to send the treaty back to the White House “is a big, big factor,” calling the accord a “badly misguided” arrangement.

To supporters of the decision, making certain that the United States does not ratify the treaty is one more step toward deregulation that Mr. Trump has championed. In a call with reporters, a senior administration official said that a major factor in his decision was the lack of compliance with the treaty from other large conventional arms exporters, including China and Russia.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States had its own set of controls to ensure the appropriate sale of arms abroad, and added that the Trump administration opposed possible future amendments to the treaty up for consideration in 2020.

Critics see it as a concession to the gun lobby, and another effort by the Trump administration to distance itself from multilateral diplomatic initiatives — from the nuclear deal with Iran to the Paris climate agreement — that advocates say are meant to make the world a safer place.

The president’s action today is yet another mistaken step that threatens to make the world less safe, rather than more secure,” Thomas Countryman, a former assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation and lead American negotiator on the Arms Trade Treaty, said in a statement.

Mr. Countryman also pointed out that a ratification of the treaty would not have caused the United States to change any existing laws or procedures governing how it sells the weapons.

“It is sad, but to be expected, that this president opposes efforts to require other countries to meet the high standards of U.S. military export decisions,” Mr. Countryman said.

Mr. Trump’s move means that the United States would be in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, who abstained from participation in the treaty, and leaving behind a group of the world’s largest gun manufacturers, including France and Germany, who signed on.

But in Indianapolis, the president’s announcement prompted a standing ovation, as did some of the other red-meat campaign rally topics.

Mr. Trump touted gains in the economy and railed against a “corrupt” news media. He also disparaged the special counsel investigation into his campaign that he said had been part of a coup attempt carried out at the highest levels…

F.B.I. Warns of Russian Interference in 2020 Race and Boosts Counterintelligence Operations

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WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. director warned anew on Friday about Russia’s continued meddling in American elections, calling it a “significant counterintelligence threat.” The bureau has shifted additional agents and analysts to shore up defenses against foreign interference, according to a senior F.B.I. official.

The Trump administration has come to see that Russia’s influence operations have morphed into a persistent threat. The F.B.I., the intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security have made permanent the task forces they created to confront 2018 midterm election interference, senior American national security officials said.

“We recognize that our adversaries are going to keep adapting and upping their game,” Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, said Friday in a speech in Washington, citing the presence of Russian intelligence officers in the United States and the Kremlin’s record of malign influence operations.

“So we are very much viewing 2018 as just kind of a dress rehearsal for the big show in 2020,” he said.

Mr. Wray’s warnings came after the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, laid out in hundreds of pages of detail the interference and influence campaign carried out by Russian operatives in the 2016 election.

While American officials have promised to continue to try to counter, block and weaken the Russian intelligence operations, they have complained of a lack of high-level coordination. President Trump has little interest or patience for hearing about such warnings, officials have said.

Mr. Trump views any discussion of future Russian interference as effectively questioning the legitimacy of his 2016 victory, prompting senior officials to head off discussions with him. Earlier this year, the White House chief of staff told Kirstjen Nielsen, then the homeland security secretary, not to raise the threat of new forms of Russian interference with Mr. Trump, current and former senior administration officials have said.

But outside of meetings with Mr. Trump, intelligence officials have continued to raise alarms. Officials including both Mr. Wray and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, have said Russia has aimed its influence campaigns at undermining faith in American democracy.

“What has pretty much continued unabated is the use of social media, fake news, propaganda, false personas, etc. to spin us up, pit us against each other, to sow divisiveness and discord, to undermine America’s faith in democracy,” Mr. Wray said on Friday. “That is not just an election-cycle threat. It is pretty much a 365-day-a-year threat.”

In response to growing threats from Russia and other adversaries, the F.B.I. recently moved nearly 40 agents and analysts to the counterintelligence division, the senior bureau official said in an interview this month. Many of the agents will work on the Foreign Influence Task Force,…

In Trump’s world, FBI agents are traitors and Robert E. Lee isn’t

(3) To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes; but neither this, nor any other clause contained in the Constitution, shall ever be construed to delegate the power to Congress to appropriate money for any internal improvement intended to facilitate commerce; except for the purpose of furnishing lights, beacons, and buoys, and other aids to navigation upon the coasts, and the improvement of harbors and the removing of obstructions in river navigation; in all which cases such duties shall be laid on the navigation facilitated thereby as may be necessary to pay the costs and expenses thereof.

This goes a long way to cutting down the power of the commerce clause, and would likely have resulted in a different SCOTCS ruling on…

US to put pressure on UK government after leaked Huawei decision

The UK headquarters of Huawei in Reading.

Donald Trump’s administration is expected to put further pressure on the UK to reconsider the decision to allow Chinese telecoms company Huawei to help build parts of the UK’s 5G telecoms network.

The US has arranged for a representative from the state department, which has repeatedly warned of the risks of using Huawei, to give a briefing on Monday.

Robert Strayer, a deputy assistant secretary, who has been at the forefront of anti-Huawei lobbying, argued earlier this month that if countries adopt “risk-based security frameworks” it “will lead inevitably to the banning of Huawei”.

The latest US lobbying comes after the leak of a decision by the normally secret UK National Security Council, which agreed to allow Huawei to supply 5G technology after a contested meeting in which five cabinet members raised objections.

The decision at Tuesday’s NSC meeting was forced through, according to one source, on the casting vote of the prime minister with a formal announcement expected later in the spring once further technical safeguards had been prepared.

But while Downing Street may regard the Huawei decision as final there are signs that it could yet be reversed once Theresa May steps aside, with sources close to Boris Johnson indicating the former foreign secretary could be willing to “look again” at the Huawei approval if he were to become prime minister.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, was the first minister to publicly confirm that a leak inquiry had started, when asked about Huawei at an Chinese government investment forum in Beijing – and said it needed to be dealt with.

“My understanding from London [is] that an investigation has been announced,” Hammond said. “I think it is very important that we get to the bottom of what happened here.”

On Thursday it emerged that the cabinet secretary, Sir Mark Sedwill, had written to the senior ministers present at the meeting to demand that they and their aides cooperate with the inquiry and state…

South Texas Mayor Is Arrested on Election Fraud Charges, Fueling Bitter Political Fight

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EDINBURG, Tex. — The mayor of a South Texas border city was arrested Thursday on charges that he orchestrated an illegal voting scheme in which he asked residents of nearby towns to change their addresses so that they could cast votes for him.

The arrests of Richard Molina, the mayor of Edinburg, and his wife, Dalia Molina, came amid a bitter political fight in Texas over election fraud, and were made in a region with a long history of voting improprieties and public corruption scandals. The Molinas turned themselves in on Thursday morning.

Ken Paxton, the state’s Republican attorney general, whose office oversaw the investigation of Mr. Molina, has aggressively prosecuted voter fraud cases, even as a recent attempt by the state to purge noncitizens from the voter rolls was plagued by problems and inaccuracies.

Mr. Molina, 40, won the November 2017 election by 1,240 votes, and for nearly all of his tenure has been dogged by accusations of cheating. Municipal elections in Texas are nonpartisan.

Nearly 20 people have been arrested since last year in connection with the fraud case. Prosecutors said the scheme — involving Mr. Molina, his wife and paid campaign workers — was largely carried out by having numerous voters who did not live in Edinburg claim they were residents, including many who stated they lived in an apartment complex Mr. Molina owns.

According to court documents, Mr. Molina and his wife were both registered as volunteer voter registrars in the 2017 election and were authorized to help people fill out voter registration applications. Several of those with false addresses were signed by Mr. Molina and included his voter registrar number, according to the criminal complaint.

In that election, Mr. Molina, a former police officer, pulled off an upset victory by defeating the incumbent mayor, Richard Garcia, who had been mayor for 11 years and had been running for re-election.

“I feel that he didn’t steal the election away from me — he stole the election away from the community,” said Mr. Garcia, a lawyer. “The suspicions arose, when you started seeing, in checking the lists on the last days of the election, you started seeing a lot of names with the same address. There was one little house — it’s a 400- or…

Americans see politics as biggest economic threat: survey

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Politics has dominated the American news cycle for the past three years, and it’s now dominating people’s economic concerns.

According to a recent survey of 1,000 individuals conducted by Bankrate.com, 44% of Americans say the political environment in Washington, D.C. is the biggest threat to the economy over the next six months.

The next most popular choices were terrorism and political/economic developments — both at just 14%. Other named threats included a decline in the stock market (11%), interest rate decisions (8%), and “something else” (2%).

‘It’s absolutely at its zenith’

The findings show “there’s some collateral damage from the high degree of anxiety and noise that Washington is producing,” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com, told Yahoo Finance.

During the government shutdown, a product of discord between the Trump administration and Democratic members of Congress, economic effects were seen across the nation. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees were furloughed, IPOs were delayed, and farmers were unable to receive their government loans — just to name a few. Overall, the partial shutdown cost the U.S. economy at least $11 billion.

While it’s not clear if the shutdown played a role in the respondents’ sentiments, it did raise some questions.

“There have obviously been periods of high discord in the political environment in the U.S,” Hamrick said, citing tensions during the ‘60s and ‘70s. “But in the last couple of decades, it’s absolutely at its zenith.”

‘There’s some water that’s being taken on’

So what is it about politics that concerns people the most?

“There are a million stories in the naked city, right?” Hamrick said, “To the degree that everyone may have their own personal reasons for feeling this way, I think there are some broad brushstrokes that can apply.”

He cited trade uncertainty and tax cut dissatisfaction as some…