An NBC/WSJ poll taken in July 2013 indicates that 57% of Americans would vote to replace all 100 Senators and 435 Representatives. Yet according to Politico in December 2012, 90% of sitting Members of Congress were reelected, actually exceeding rates in the last election cycle.
While these twin facts could probably be explained by gerrymandering and campaign finance, I’d like to make a different point. One of our biggest political programs is that as a group, we insist that the problem isn’t with OUR Senator or Representative, it’s with all the OTHER Members of Congress. THEY’RE the ones who have to change.
Unfortunately, you only have influence over three Members of Congress – your Representative and your two Senators. Stop trying to clean the houses of others and look to your own. Do your best to support people of principle who are also committed to civility and constructive compromise. Maybe then things will get better. But if you elect the same people over and over who don’t have these qualities and everyone else does the same, nothing will change and there’s no use complaining about it.
I really wish the media would just dump polls like these and the mass approval of Congress poll. They seem designed to increase our sense of helplessness. I’d like to see a lot more local polls about individual Representatives and Senators, along with asking people what change they’d like to see in their own delegation.
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