With a deafening ring of freedom and personal power, democracy is synonymous with a government of the people. Unfortunately, pure democracy is rather rare in the United States. As California state citizens, we may have the closest system to pure democracy in the nation. Thanks to the California Constitution, every Golden State citizen is able to vote on all major state legislation directly.
Even though it would seem California citizens have the last say on legislation, as always, it comes down to a select few. The trumping federal government operates more like a republic as official representatives are given the power to make decisions for the citizens of America.
This puts an emphasis on the importance of picking the right representatives that will fulfill your wants and needs as a citizen. But in these last midterm elections the American citizens have spoken and said they were not satisfied with their representatives.
A few weeks ago Democrats had a solid grip on the majority in both the Senate and the House, and going into the midterm elections, Republicans needed to gain 40 House seats over incumbent democrats to gain back the majority. Needless to say, something drastic needed to happen. But there was something brewing in Washington.
A major headline in the popularity of the federal government has been President Obama’s violent drop in approval ratings, but the popularity of Congress is not talked about very often. After viewing the statistics, I found myself believing in the Republican Party’s ability to gain seats back. Prior to midterm voting, Congress approval was more than half of Obama’s approval at a dismal 21 percent approval. This is the lowest Congress approval rating ever.
The truth is, the United States Congress has been notoriously unpopular among Americans throughout history. This is due to the people’s want for a strong president who can trump Congress, which is viewed as a group of self-interested politicians. Now, how did Congress gain so many enemies over such a short period? It again comes down to their inability to provide citizens with what they wanted. An initial stab at universal health care has proven to be a legislative nightmare as strong opposition and an inability to progress anywhere past voting has resulted in the loss of federal time and money. Not only has it turned people off to the idea of universal health care, but also people have lost their confidence in Congress’ ability to be productive.
The United States recession has also proven to be an unpopular front for Congress. As America began the road to recovery, people were expecting economic relief in the form of more jobs, but no such change has happened. Stories of unemployment and people being laid off continue to be prevalent. This has left Americans feeling abandoned by their representatives as senators and House members alike have not offered relief to their voters. With such a strong democratic majority in Congress, democrats have been identified as the source of the problem.
Last week Americans expressed their frustration at the voting polls as Republicans picked up a staggering 65 seats in the House, 25 seats more than they needed to regain the majority. Along with six Senate seats to even out possession of the Senate, the Republican Party has made a strong point to succeed where the democrats failed.