iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2004
Mon, 11-04-2013 - 8:21am

      It seems strange to me how displeased most people are with Congress.  The Real Clear Politics average of polls shows 84.4% disapprove with the job congress is doing, while only 8.9% approve of their job.  The reason this seems strange to me is that the members of congress were elected by the American voters.  That means that in almost all cases members of congress were either elected by a majority or a plurality of the people who voted.  So, the answer to the question as to how these members of congress, as well as the President, got into power is that the majority of voters voted for them.  Therefore it seems to me that if these elected officials are so bad the people to blame for that is the majority of voters.  Now, what about the people who didn’t vote?  Well they allowed others to put the members of congress and the President in power.  So, it seems to me that if these elected officials are so bad the people to blame is most adult Americans, those who voted for these officials plus those who didn’t vote.  But then there is always the possibility that the elected officials who lost would have been even worse than those who won.

      Another factor is the American system of democracy.  What does it say about that system in that it results in elected officials who the people feel so displeased about?  Could it be the fault of the American system of democracy?  Then there is the idea of free speech where there are many different, independent media outlets.  Could that be the problem?  I don’t think so.  I like democracy and free speech.

      I see the problem as being that people don’t all want the same things.  Some people want increased government spending in certain areas, but less spending in others.  If we all agreed on what areas to increase spending and what areas to decrease spending then there would be no problem, but that is not the case.  Some people may want all areas of spending to decrease, but others may not want certain areas of spending to decrease.  Some people may say “get rid of waste,” but not all people may agree on what constitutes waste and in some cases the cost of getting rid of waste may be greater than the cost of the waste. 

      It appears to me that democracy and free speech lead to compromise and in the case of a compromise it is possible that most if not all would not like certain parts.  Further, it seems to me that many of the people of the United States, at least in the present, primarily thank about what they don’t like and pretty much disregard what they like in what the elected officials do.  Given the nature of compromise and that people want different things I feel that for the most part, the elected officials do a good job, but not a perfect job, in representing most of the people who voted for them.  Now maybe the majority of the people of the United State are wrong (how wrong is defined is another issue), but that is not the fault of the elected officials. 

      I do not feel the job of elected officials is to solve problems, I feel the job of elected officials is to represent the people who voted for them.