This morning the news reported that the latest polling numbers on Congress’ approval rating is now at 11% based upon the Gallup July 8-11, 2010 Confidence in Institutions poll. Sixteen institutions are evaluated. The top institutions are: 76% -the military; 66% - small business; 59% - the police; 48% - the church or organized religion (Ouch!); and 40% - the medical system.
So here we have the elected representatives of our government, people we select to handle the affairs of state for us. The American people have, in effect, cast a “no confidence” vote on Congress! Think about it! One in ten Americans approves of the job Congress is doing. That is a staggering statistic.
During the next three months leading up to the November mid-term elections, I encourage you to stay up on the news. The primaries we had the past few months all across the country saw the political demise of many members of Congress who have been in D.C. for way too long. We Americans have sent many of these folks packing. There is a very real concern among the current members of Congress that “We the People” have awakened and are preparing to vote out of office these folks who have failed miserably to represent us.
I was invited to attend an early morning breakfast at the Barnwood Restaurant early this week by former mayor, and all-around great guy, Don Moyer. This meeting was an opportunity for those invited to meet congressional candidate for the House of Representatives, Dave Harmer (R), who is running against incumbent, Jerry McNerney (D). It was a very relaxed atmosphere with a lot of good-natured kidding and bantering taking place. I had met Mr. Harmer at a previous gathering in Stockton. I decided to share some thoughts with him about my concerns about someone going off to D.C. “Why do these people we send ‘drink the Kool-Ade’ which is nothing more than ‘politics as usual’ in our nation’s Capitol?” I expressed what has been a frustration for me and many others I have spoken with that these good people we send off to the hallowed halls of Congress wind up “going along to get along.” They get too comfortable, climbing into bed with special interest groups, ultimately failing to represent those of us who have elected them.
Later, during our meal together, Mr. Harmer spoke to us for some thirty minutes about his experience, and why he was running for Congress. I’m not holding my breath, but I sure liked what I saw and heard in this man. His father, John L. Harmer, served as Ronald Reagan’s Lieutenant Governor in California. Like father - like son.
Some of the other trends concerning this November reveal that voters don’t much like either of the major political parties, and if their representative has been there for very long – it’s time to pack their bags!
The House of Representatives is up for re-election – all 435 members. This is likely to be one of the largest (if not the largest) freshman classes of Congressmen our country has ever seen. This also means we are going to see freshmen Congressmen having to learn their way around the Capitol.
The Gallup Report went on to say that “underscoring Congress' image problem, half of Americans now say they have ‘very little’ or ‘no’ confidence in Congress.” The 11% approval rating is the lowest for Congress since Gallup began these reports in 1973.
The new grassroots political movement, the Tea Party, grew up quickly last year because Americans are tired of being ignored by their representatives. Let me tell you! Washington D.C. is scared to death of this movement by the people. It has resonated with freedom-loving Americans and is not fading away. On the contrary, it is gaining momentum – and the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barbara Boxer are extremely nervous! Hallelujah!
Folks, here’s what I want to say to you. Many of you have bought into this idea that your vote doesn’t matter, so, in the past, you have chosen to stay home. I believe this election will give you an opportunity to have your vote actually make a difference. Now’s the time to get involved! If you haven’t registered to vote in a few years, now’s the time to do it. Our future depends on “We the People” standing up and being heard.
America is worth saving!