Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Yes, America, you are fed up with Washington, and this is why

Yes, America, you are fed up with Washington, and this is why:

  • Americans truly are fed up with their political system and the career politicians who inhabit it
  • Most Americans see their government as oppressive, unresponsive, uncaring or overbearing – or a combination of all of those things
  • Some Americans have switched party allegiances, only to be disappointed again and again
By Charles Greene

Americans are sick and tired of politics as usual in Washington, and the sentiment is shared by both Republicans and Democrats – or, increasingly, former Republicans and Democrats.. There’s a general feeling of disillusion with our elected  leaders and long-time loyal voters from both parties are jumping ship in record numbers.

Some have switched party alliances, many others are voting against one party rather than voting for the other. Many more are seeking alternatives to a two-party system that seems to serve no one, except those in power.

Political journalist Salena Zito has penned an opinion piece for TribLive.com, entitled “Lament of the fed-up voter”, in which she examines the mood of the American voting public and the motivation behind the record numbers of those who no longer support either party.

Zito observes:

“Many longtime Democrats and Republicans are shedding party loyalty because of disgust with Washington.

Their movement is populist in temperament but insulated from the usual co-opting by political organizations seeking to benefit from it.

You see, people are not simply tired of Washington; they are tired of political organizations, of the two-party system, of campaign messages designed to narrow the turnout of their opponents.

Even more, they are tired of being left behind.”

Zito has been interviewing voters in 12 states over the past year while reporting on what Americans are looking for from their so-called leaders in Washington in the 2014 midterm elections.

She has found that those who are “shedding party loyalty” are not limited to certain demographic profiles, as might be expected. She notes that:

“These aren’t just older white voters. Young people, black and Hispanic families, all voice a stunning detachment from the status quo of American politics; they yearn for something fresh, authentic, dedicated, connected to a broader swath of America.

They are especially disgusted by divisional politics, class warfare and organized protests filled with paid participants.”

Outside of the Capital Beltway, voters are clearly upset with what they see as a Washington that no longer speaks for or to them. Americans are finding themselves becoming chronically pessimistic about politics and feel that the problem is only getting worse.

As Zito sees it:

“These are the voters outside of Washington or the bubbles of academia and sophisticated big cities where power and wealth are the norm; the type of voters who don’t look at the wealthy with envy but do look at the stock market and wonder when it will trickle down to them.

From chic farmers markets in Madison to industrial Illinois, in midsize towns of Ohio, Virginia and New York, voters’ sentiments match polling data that show we are in the longest state of pessimism with Washington in modern history — and we firmly believe that Washington is not only broken but that no one is fixing it.”

Zito finds that voters are no longer voting for a particular party, but against the one they distrust the most – and that our elected leadership in Washington is ignoring this fact.

She observes that this trend is making the results of the midterm elections hard to project:

“America keeps sending messages to Washington in elections, and Washington keeps reading those votes as verification rather than repudiation.

People voted against — not for — Democrats in 2004 and 2010, and against Republicans in 2006, 2008 and 2012.

Voters are against all of them — which makes this year’s midterms difficult to predict.”

Regarding the midterms, Zito points out that since the Republicans have a lock on the House, the elections do not have a “national feel,” as did the 2006 and 2010 midterms.

Only seven battleground states have much at stake in the Senate elections, and voters aren’t particularly excited about the final results:

“With just seven states in play, the 2014 election is merely a mini-wave with a 50/50 chance of going either way; Democrats have a ridiculous amount of money in their favor, and Republicans have a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm in theirs.

Voters think both parties have a ridiculous amount of nothing going on.”

Zito concludes that American politics are no longer a forum for “robust debate,” and that voters are looking for alternatives to the status quo.

She feels that this anti-Washington sentiment is growing stronger and that the next presidential election will be “interesting,” in terms of how both parties manage to come to grips with a highly skeptical and disgruntled American voting public.

As far as this writer is concerned, it would be really interesting to see a new party emerge out of the wreckage of the broken two-party system which no longer serves or represents its respective constituencies.

Once disillusioned Democrats and Republicans realize how much they truly have in common (beyond the mutual contempt of the current leadership in Washington), they could collectively become a true force to be reckoned with.

Can Americans ever take back their political system from the politicians? Can Congress and the White House ever earn back your trust and confidence? If so, how? Is the two-party system broken? TELL us!

The post Yes, America, you are fed up with Washington, and this is why appeared first on Absolute Rights.