Why are Americans dissatisfied with direction of the country?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 14, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: And in the "Impact Segment" tonight, a new Gallup poll says just 22 percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the USA. That's down eight points since April. However, in September of 2011, just 11 percent of us were satisfied.

So we're not at the nadir. Although with a vast majority of Americans not liking the direction of the country, the question becomes why?

Joining us now from Washington: Republican strategist, Kate Obenshain; also, Kirsten Powers a Democrat and Fox News analyst. So Powers, what's the main source of disenchantment?

KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I'm not sure that there is one source. I think that, certainly, the economy is a piece of it. But the economy is turning around. We are in a recovery, believe it or not, but I think a lot of people still feel like their lives are not that secure.

And as long as you are feeling like your life is not that secure -- most people don't have pensions anymore, they are not sure about their health insurance. They are not sure that they are going to continue to have a job because everything has become so unpredictable. So I think it's -- it's an environment sort of set up for people to be dissatisfied.

O'REILLY: All right. So it's all economic in your opinion the disenchantment? How about you Kate what do you think?

KATE OBENSHAIN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well I think there is economic component. I agree with everything Kirsten just said, believe it or not. But I also think it's a lot broader than that. I think it's political to some extent. The ongoing scandals that -- it's been a year since Benghazi we are seeing nothing happening. Obamacare clear special interests are still in control of Washington despite promises.

But Bill, I think it's even broader than that we have a President who sort of is peddling victimization, encouraging Americans to be divided. I wrote a book on it, Obama is the Divider-in-Chief. He turns Americans against each other based on income, race, sex, whether they are immigrants or not. He's pitting us one against another.

And that transition -- that translates into this sort of overriding animosity and despair and dissatisfaction. It's intentional. Then he gets to ram through his bigger government.


O'REILLY: I don't know if it's -- I don't know if it's Obama generated, I think --


O'REILLY: I see, I think it's a more cultural thing. The President's job approval rating is about 45 percent now. So the 22 percent number doesn't jive with it we don't like Obama business.

I think it's basically that Americans are seeing their country change, Powers. Change dramatically. And we've been reporting on this. And they don't like it.

POWERS: Change how?

O'REILLY: They don't like the Trayvon Martin case. They didn't like -- they don't like the entertainment industry. They don't like the disrespect shown by younger Americans. They don't like the machines taking over everybody's lives. They are losing a sense of what it is to be an American.

And I really think that's -- that's really people are starting to get like this about, yes, the economy is shaky and it hasn't really improved and there is not a lot of security in the marketplace, that's right.


POWERS: Yes but --

O'REILLY: But it's more about this country is not what I grew up in - - Powers.

POWERS: Honestly, I feel like that's the gripe of almost every older generation through all time. You know they have always -- there is always the complaining the kids are being too disrespectful and Hollywood is ruining things --


O'REILLY: But if you look at -- if you look at the numbers now. If you look at the behavior now, what's happening now, then there is a legitimate gripe.

POWERS: Look, I think it's -- it's I think it's always been a legitimate gripe, frankly. And it's just as much of a legitimate gripe today. But -- but I don't think that that is necessarily a new gripe. But I do think the part of what Kate was just saying that the feeling that we have these problems and then we have these people in Washington who don't really seem capable of actually doing anything are always disagreeing.


O'REILLY: Well yes but you but -- you are so Beltway-oriented Powers. I know you live there and you breathe it and you love it.

POWERS: That's why you bring me on.

O'REILLY: But it's beyond the beltway. People don't think about Congress. They are not thinking about Obama all the time. They are thinking about their own lives -- what matters to them.

POWERS: But it does matter --

O'REILLY: And they are seeing -- they are seeing everything change, the whole thing.

POWERS: Yes I think a certain there is -- but I think you are talking about an older generation. You are right. I think a lot of people do feel uncomfortable with the trajectory of the country.

O'REILLY: It's not an older generation though. It's even -- it's even people 30 and up that -- that are saying to themselves, you know -- look, Kate, when you talk about the victimization, we talked about how the country is being divided. You just said you believe Obama is the reason for it. I think he is -- he is one -- one portion of it.

But I think the media is the primary divider in this country now. I think the media is embracing now, is really -- really horrendous.

OBENSHAIN: The media --

O'REILLY: Go ahead.

OBENSHAIN: I believe the media is embracing Obama's message. They love Obama's message. Look, Bill, the young people, this the is first time that young people have thought that their future is going to be less full and prosperous than their parents. That is because for one, their economic outlook is bleak.

O'REILLY: Yes it's an economic play.

OBENSHAIN: But Obama -- but Obama is telling them that because of big business, because of greedy people they are never going to get anywhere. He's telling women that they can never get anywhere without the beneficent hand of government reaching down. He's telling again -- the middle class you will never achieve anything unless government helps you.

It is this sort of animosity -- you mentioned Trayvon Martin. He is he making the racial divide clear, stronger, more distinct instead of saying "Hey we Americans are moving forward." It's this intentional -- the stirring up of animosity.


O'REILLY: The class warfare stuff.

OBENSHAIN: But -- but class warfare, racial warfare, gender warfare, Obama is -- that doesn't mean they don't like Obama but it's his message that is so pernicious in getting into society.

O'REILLY: All right. I'll buy that, I'll buy that that this whole thing is coming together and people feel uneasy with the tone -- with the tone.

POWERS: They are missing half the story.

O'REILLY: Right I've got to go, ladies, but maybe we'll consider -- we'll continue this but I think it's the tone of the country that's got people on the negative along with the economy.

Directly ahead, Attorney General Holder says the war on drugs has been a failure and he is not going to prosecute retail -- retail drug dealers aggressively.

Later, Miss Teen USA says she was hacked and spied upon in her own home. Wait until you hear this -- coming right up.

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