Top 10 Political Stories for 2011: Page 4 of 11

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DISSENTING VOICES

Anger, fear and resentment have become factors on the political landscape as Americans come to grips with the lingering effects of the Great Recession.

The most obvious manifestation this year came on the left, as the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York ignited similar protests across the nation, including at Washington’s McPherson Square.

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The protesters faced persistent criticism that they never really defined an agenda. But the mere opportunity to vent frustration had an acute appeal for many.

By year’s end, the Occupy movement’s chances of becoming a broad-based movement — truly the voice of the 99 percent, as it often claimed — seemed to be dissipating.

Among the population at large, the mood was dismal more than angry. In one The Hill opinion poll, conducted in October, a full 69 percent of voters asserted that the United States was in decline.

Here are The Hill’s choices for the 10 most important political stories of the year:

Bin Laden | Giffords | Dissent
Message? | Economy | GOP's reign
Reid & McConnell | Debt ceiling | The wire | GOP candidates

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