The liberal media was ecstatic to announce the results of a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Friday morning that showed a significant number of Americans blame Republicans for the government shutdown and that support for the Republican Party is at an historic low. Other adjectives to describe the reaction of the media to the results include exultant, joyous, boastful, and giddy. What a contrast between the response to this poll and the radio silence from the liberal media just two days earlier when another poll showed President Obama's approval rating at 37 percent. Any novice political observer who ever doubted a media bias need only take a look at the recent coverage of the government shutdown to see the striking difference in the way the media respond to different polls.
While most political analysts were focused on the poll's negative numbers for the Republican Party, a more interesting and perhaps disturbing part of the poll reveals that while 60 percent of Americans would vote out every member of Congress (including their own) if there was such an option on the ballot, 58 percent of Americans believe that government should "do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people." The fact that a sizable majority of Americans believes that government needs to be doing more in the wake of the Obamacare debacle is representative of the widespread ignorance and misinformation that currently plagues our country. Do we truly believe that merely replacing one politician with another will solve the problems we face? Have we not learned that handing over more power to Washington politicians only makes them more detached from the people they supposedly represent and more likely to make decisions that do not reflect the wishes of their constituents?
The founding fathers had the wisdom to know that, human nature being what it is, all politicians will become self-serving and powerful once they are in office. We could elect an entirely new Congress in 2014 and find ourselves in the same situation. Only by placing numerous checks and balances into our constitutional system were the founders able to curtail the power of those in Washington. One of the main differences between then and now is that our forefathers did not look to government to solve their problems, whereas today we look to the president and the Congress to do what we should be doing for ourselves. Were the federal budget significantly smaller and more manageable, a government shutdown would have little impact on our society. The shutdown has become a crisis only because we have made government so powerful and so connected to our ability to function as a society that when the government can no longer act on our behalf, we become helpless.
As long as a majority of Americans believes that government is not doing enough, we will never be able to control the very behavior that we claim to disdain in our representatives. "Kicking the bums out of office" is not enough. We have to significantly limit the relevance of those who are there now and those who will be there in the future. By taking power away from Washington and empowering states, counties, and local communities, we will free ourselves from the prison that members of Congress have built around us and restore our constitutional government.