In 2008, we got plenty of promises for “change” in Washington. We were given “hope” for “change you can believe in.” (Please excuse the bad grammar; I didn’t write the slogan.) Pretty slogans, weren’t they?
Depending on what part of the so-called political spectrum you think you occupy, you have your own explanations for how all that voter sentiment got hijacked. Here’s my explanation for it: Voters were conned into believing that they could get somebody else to change things for them. The error in thinking was that all we had to do was elect the right people to the right positions, then go back to watching our soap operas and sports on television. It doesn’t work that way, especially if the same rotten apples occupy the barrel.
It’s not enough to rid the Congress or the White House of rotten apples, though that’s a great start. Washington is a rotten barrel that spoils good apples. To put it another way, it’s not enough to drive the rats from the sewer, we need to take some industrial-strength cleanser to the sewer itself. I’ll talk about the industrial-strength cleanser in future articles, but here I want to focus on the rats in the sewer.
We can realistically hope for positive change in Washington this year because, for the first time in memory, voters are fed up enough to demand it. Most of the surveys I’m citing in this article are from the highly reliable Rasmussen Reports.
Now, 71% of American voters think Congress is “doing a poor job;” 18% say they’re doing a “fair” job; 9% say that Congress is doing a “good” job; and only 1% say that Congress is doing an “excellent” job. That’s the lowest rating in the history of Rasmussen polls.
A whopping 63% say that Congress would be better if incumbent congressmen were defeated this November. Only 27% say that their own congressman is the best person for the job. Some 42% of the voters believe that most congressmen are “corrupt.” Only 32% disagree with that statement, while 26% aren’t sure. For more information, click here.
Every bit as stunning as the previous finding, only 21% of the voters believe that the United States government “has the consent of the governed.” Another 18% aren’t sure, and an impressive 61% disagrees with the statement that the U.S. government “has the consent of the governed.” That 61% believes that the U.S. government now represents powerful special interests rather than the American people. Click here for details.
Some of you are thinking, Oh, I’ve never heard of Rasmussen Reports. Why should I trust their findings? Well, maybe you’ve heard of CNN, USA Today, and Gallup. According to a recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, 49% of the voters say that most congressmen are corrupt, while a smaller percentage of voters disagree, and some are unsure. Thus, a majority of voters with an opinion on the question believe that most congressmen are corrupt. Here’s another good one: That same survey revealed that 53% of the voters think that congressional corruption will be a major issue in the coming election. Here and here are links you can enjoy.
At last count, 18 rats have decided to desert the ship. The others are getting very nervous about how vulnerable they are this fall. Let’s not lose that sense of mission between now and November. This November, we can sweep the rats out of office and start cleaning up the congressional sewer.
A new broom sweeps clean.