The Congress We voted for at 14 percent Approval Rating
Congress as a whole is very unpopular with the American people. Here is a branch of government that should be the collective representation of all our interests and yet the new congress comes in at a 14 percent approval rating according to a Gallup poll.
Much of the disenfranchisement with Congress is a general sense that nothing is accomplished that needs to be accomplished. Everything that can be, is pushed into the future, to be dealt with later. Just recently, that Congress passed a Republican leadership Debt Ceiling bill, not to raise the debt ceiling as need be, but to push it forward a few months. This is typical of a Congress whose salaries we taxpayer pay.
We must all ask ourselves; why is Congress so disliked if it was just last election that we voted these same people in within our own states and districts, to go to Washington? We sent them to represent us. Somehow, most of us think the person we sent is doing their job. The other representatives are the ones we disapprove of and the ones not doing their job, not our representatives and our senators.
I think most of us are not paying enough attention to our own representatives. We have no idea how they vote and if their vote represents our interests. What little we know of our leaders was given to us by sound bites of speeches or political ads during campaign season.
They say all the right things; they talk about creating jobs and about paying off the deficit and balancing the budget; they talk about working for middle-class taxpayers and then they go to Washington and they serve the interests of the wealthy and powerful instead.
Misinformation I think is the main driving force that keeps our Congress loaded with ideologues and servants of powerful special interests. Lies are allowed to flow freely, even truth is distorted and those who twist it aim only to distract us from the important issues of the day.
The U.S. Supreme Court, once viewed by many as the one branch of government unfettered by partisan politics, opened the floodgates of campaign cash, thanks to its “Citizens United vs. FEC” decision. There was already a problem with money in politics and now it is choking democracy right out of our system of government. Our Congress is proof of that.
Most of those we elect to office I am most certain, ran for the seat because they cared about something and believed in something. Yet then Washington turns out to be not what they expected. Suddenly they realize that if they want to keep this job, they are going to need to fundraise and to win over those big campaign donations, a little sucking up is necessary. A promise of support for one cause and the firm non-support for another cause; they are no longer our representatives but they become the servant of their biggest contributors.
Because of this, this Congress has a 14 percent approval rating. This Congress does not serve us the People; it serves those who can finance its members into another term. I have long advocated for a public campaign system as the only way to have a representative body of legislators who are there to represent all of us, not just those who have money and power.
It has become obvious from this last election and the campaign season that preceded it, that some of those with lots of money, inspired to change government — or in my opinion — buy government. With their wealth, they wished to buy a president and quite a few lesser seats. They failed overall but that does not mean they will not keep trying. Perhaps we voters need to send a clear message that we are watching and we do not like what we see.
A real popular idea for our congress would be to start acting like adults and get along with each other. That is probably not going to happen as both sides blame the other side of why they cannot get along. This is what happens when you put children into a tight space with each other, like a sandbox.
Until we wake up and realize that money in politics will always bring overwhelming influence from money sources, our politicians will serve those who they need the most and the rest of us will get lip service. If we want Congress to act like adults instead of children, we need to take away their toys.