Real Change

There’s no doubt in my mind that we overestimate the value of a presidential election as well as the president’s job; and at the same time, underestimate Congress’s importance. Doesn’t Civics 101 tell us about the three branches of our government and how they intertwine?

At the present time, our Congress has a lower approval rating than our president. Considering President Bush’s low rating and popularity, Congress’s much lower approval is quite the accomplishment.

Depending on poll, Congress’s ratings over the past six months are in the following ranges: Approve (13-23%) and Disapprove (67-81%). Of course the topping on the cake is the fact that slightly over 50% of those polled approve the job of those representing them. Now let me get this straight. The far majority of the electorate disapprove of Congress, but also have the “but my reps are ok” attitude.

Personally, three points about that contradiction:
1) That’s pathetic!
2) We the people are getting what we ask for.
3) Being that 60% of voters are partisan oriented anyway, many people are clueless about change.

Fortunately, the presidency/Executive branch is one-third of our government. Unfortunately, many voters over emphasize the presidential vote and underestimate the importance of selecting representatives and senators. After all, Congress (not the Oval Office) serves as our policy makers.

Let’s see. All 435 House seats and 34 senators are up for re-election this year. I guess 80% of more of incumbents will win. Given Congress high disapproval rating, is that acceptable? Is something wrong with this picture?

In the 90s I told people that there were two problems in Washington and it wasn’t Bill and Hillary. Again, the two major problems that past eight years are not GW and Chaney. It’s the Democratic and Republican parties! Both parties are greatly influenced by special interests, and both parties apply pressure to their members to vote certain ways. Both parties can withdraw support for anyone bucking the party. One could argue that the Democratic and Republican parties are the two biggest special interest groups in Washington serving as a conglomerate for other special interests.

So it’s this simple. A Frank Angle’s solution for those desiring change: Vote the bums out! If they vote 80% or better with their party, vote the bums out! If they vote for earmarks, vote the bums out! If they participate in wasteful spending, vote the bums out! If they violate ethic standards, vote the bums out! What is so difficult?

My story is straight forward as I practice what I preach. I will vote against my incumbent representative (for the challenger) on the first Tuesday of November. And, if the challenge wins, I will be against the challenger on the first Wednesday of November saying “get the bum out.” Not giving the challenger a chance is simple: it will take several purges for Washington to get the message and start working for the people instead of working the party.

In a classic film, character Howard Beale best sums up my feelings.

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5 thoughts on “Real Change

  1. You have the right idea! But it’s not so easy as it seems to vote the bums out.

    The two parties of the apocalypse use every dirty trick in the book to keep independent and third party candidates off the ballot and out of the debates.

    The corpoRATe media blacks out any candidate not a dem or repub.

    This is how “he can’t win” in reference to independent and third party candidates is made true by those who really run things.

    We usually wind up with only a dem or a repub as our “choice” that’s why they always win…

    There is one candidate for president who will make change if he wins. His plan can be seen here:

    http://votenader.org/issues

    Take a look…

    I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

  2. Although other parties are fine, the reality is that two parties dominate. “Vote the bums out!” doesn’t not mean getting rid of both parties, but rather remove the incumbent.

  3. While I agree that it would be great if the American public voted the bums out, I don’t know what good it would do since they would simply be (most likely) swapping an incumbent Republican for the challenging Democrat or vice-versa. The problem isn’t any individual person, but rather, as you said, the entire party. I think of the senators and representatives as cogs in the political machine, but any one cog certainly isn’t integral in keeping the machine running…ie, you can swap cogs and the machine itself won’t slow a step.

    If we, as a public, really wanted true change we’d vote in the “fringe” candidates. Of course, that’d open a whole new can of worms…and probably a lot of awkward legislation that wouldn’t go over well with the vast majority of the public. Hence, I expect more of the same, not change this election year.

  4. Frank,

    It strikes me as a symptom of two issues.

    1. The narrow self interest of voters in the kind of pork the local rep brings home. They hate other people’s pork but they love and feel they deserve their own. It is not just that people in Alaska feel entitled to their Bridge to Nowhere because Cleveland gets funding for an Aquarium or Atlanta gets a Museum of the history of Peanuts in the Antebellum South or whatever. People actually think their pork is justified but others’ pork is, well, PORK!

    2. The de facto 2 party system created by the institutional impediments to the formation of third parties and the resulting – and frankly stunning to an outsider – American acceptance of the two existing parties as the only options as I discuss
    http://neumann103.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/american-dualism/

    I agree completely that it is in the self interest of both Republicans and Democrats to keep it that way.

    BTW I added your blog as a blogroll link on my blog.

    Keep up the good work.

  5. Pingback: Throwing the Bums Out - Bringing home the Bacon « Neumann103’s Weblog

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