Cut to the chase, Congress has a very bad reputation and has had so for a long time. Surely, it has had moments when its favor spiked among people. Usually, that happens when Congress reacts to disaster and performs acceptably. That just doesn’t happen very often. Norm Ornstein at the American Enterprise Institute might have us believe that we appreciate Congress more when it acts in a bipartisan manner. Bipartisanship is so rare that one simply cannot tell. It could just be a statistical anomaly.
Look at the Gallup Poll chart that is posted here because they make it available for “Pinit”. Roughly draw a line across the chart at about 25% and that is approximately the running average + or -. Realize that this chart is scaled such that 50% is a high water mark.
What should voters expect in the way of measurable performance from Congress? Would you not expect something more like 90%? When you see a chart with a 40 year timeline and Congressional performance is consistently below 50%, that is hugely disappointing. It isn’t a laughing matter; it is shameful.
One way to interpret this is that Congress is failing half of the time to perform the work as intended by the will of the people. We are a bipartisan nation of voters with most of us in the middle class and poor categories. Congress is failing us big time.
What can we do about it? Here is a list:
- Throw the incumbents out. Stop rewarding them time and again by returning duds to office.
- Eliminate lifer politicians. If people running for office have not accomplished anything of extraordinarily merit before running for office, don’t accept them as candidates.
- Don’t automatically align with Republican and Democrat Parties. They don’t deserve it. They are the source of rotten candidates. Register independent and make them earn your vote.
See the annotated list below.
The question is not about “popularity,” it is about performance and effectiveness. It is about approaching the office with dignity and respect for citizens, and being determined to give to them 100% best effort.
“When Congress was popular
By Elise Viebeck - 09/02/14 06:00 AM EDT
If you're not a paid staffer or blood relative, as the joke goes, you probably hate Congress.
The institution is so unpopular that voters were more positive about brussels sprouts, head lice and root canals in one recent survey. But there have been a handful of times over the last 100 years when the public gave a thumbs up to Capitol Hill.
In 1937, 44 percent of those surveyed agreed that Congress was "about as good a representative body as it is possible for a large nation to have." The number fell to 17 percent by 1990.
1. Throw the incumbents out.
Stop rewarding them time and again by returning duds to office.
“A new poll from Gallup shows that Americans are more anti-incumbent than they have been in a long time -- and maybe ever.
The poll shows just 22 percent of people say most members of Congress deserve reelection this year. That's lower than at any point since at least 1992.
But while people like the idea of ousting members of Congress en masse, they have long been far less willing to say that their own member deserves the same fate.
But Gallup -- and many other pollsters -- have also shown the number of those saying their Congress member deserves reelection falling in recent years. In fact, earlier this year Gallup showed that number hit a new low of 46 percent.”
2. Eliminate lifer politicians.
If people running for office have not accomplished anything of extraordinarily merit before running for office, don’t accept them as candidates.
“Lifer politicians” are those whom have never had viable employment beyond working in politics. Short stints clerking in a law firm doesn’t count. American needs, wants, and deserves representatives who are extraordinary achievers in private life before applying their proven talents to representing citizens.
3. Don’t automatically align with Republican and Democrat Parties.
They don’t deserve it. They are the source of rotten candidates. Register independent and make them earn your vote.
“Take the independent voter challenge
Joanna Allhands, digital opinions editor | azcentral.com 12:39 p.m. MST March 17, 2014
I used to live in the most Republican county in Indiana. Most local elections were decided in the primaries, and those ballots were only open to registered Republicans.
It didn't matter if you didn't really like the party. You had to register as if you were in line with the GOP because that was the only way you could vote.
It always seemed so disingenuous. I thought it was ridiculous that you had to choose a side in order to vote -- and, of course, as soon as I moved to Arizona, I became an independent. You can vote in every primary here except the presidential one. It's easy: all you have to do is tell the state which ballot you want.
I guess that's why I get so annoyed at other independents. They seem to use their independence as an excuse to tune out, to not vote. They seem content to leave important decisions to a few thousand people on the extreme right and left.
And then they have the nerve to complain about the direction of this state.
Independents are now the majority, according to voter-registration figures released this morning, and frankly, we need to start acting like it. Take charge of your voice. Just raise your right hand and repeat after me:
"I, (state your name), hereby pledge to vote in this year's elections. I will request a ballot for the August primary election -- and when it comes, I will actually bother to fill it out and drop it in the mail. I'm not a slacker. I care about Arizona. And I will be heard."”