According to a poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, Congress is more hated now than ever. Eighty-three precent of respondents think Congress is failing. Wow.
I saw a bumper sticker a few days ago that said, simply, “Fire Congress.” Apparently most people agree. It’s kind of mind-boggling actually. How did all these people get elected if 83% of their constituents think they aren’t doing a good job?
Apparently it’s because people don’t know what to do with their disappointment. Even though everyone in America apparently hates most every representative on both sides of the aisle, only 23 incumbents were defeated from the House and only one member of the Senate in 2012. Really clear message of no confidence there, disgruntled citizens.
Apparently most people view the civil government more as an abusive father than as either a jerky boss or, certainly, a misbehaving employee. Because of this, most of us think the errant civil government needs to just be endured. What else can we really do about it, right?
Is this resignation and hopelessness? Part of me thinks Americans just don’t believe in the electoral system anymore. Or they don’t care. From what I’ve been hearing, we feel like the civil government is out of control—certainly out of our control. The steep decline of voter turnout from 2008 to 2012 indicates that most Americans may have voted for Congressional representatives in 2008 only because they happened to be in the voting booth to take their historical stance either for or against the inflammatory Obama. By 2012, Americans apparently felt like they had already contributed their fair share to February, and they stayed at home.
So what can we do really? Well, let me tell you what not to do. Don’t punish Republicans by voting in Democrats. And don’t punish Democrats by voting in Republicans. What this poll indicates is that America is getting really tired of the upshot of binary politics. But it doesn’t seem like we’re yet willing to give up on the two major parties. Maybe it’s time to make a push. And fire Congress. For real.