Midterm Voter Turnout

I would like to point out the importance of taking part in our government and fulfilling our civic duties. In 2006, during the midterm elections, a disheartening 37 percent of Americans showed up to the polls. I’ve tried wrapping my head around why so many eligible voters don’t bother to voice their opinion yet are likely to express disdain for Congress as we’ve seen their approval ratings hit record lows. Despite these miserable ratings, members of Congress are continually reelected.

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So it’s been said that everyone hates Congress, yet they love their Congressman. It’s important to understand that the benefits constituents may gain from any particular Congressperson is at the peril of the the governing body in aggregate. Ear marking and pork barrel spending are employed equally by both major parties. The gridlock that has taken place is debatable as to which party is at fault.

It is amazing, the low voter turnout we see in midterm elections. More amazing is the contempt that people feel for Congress despite their low turnout. Should it then be considered that no more than 37 percent of the voting public has merit in their complaints? Should no more than 37 percent of the people who complain even be considered? Their voices won’t be heard by Congress. Why should they be? Politicians tend to pay the most attention to their core constituents. Even still, of those who vote and complain, they still seem to reelect the same politicians every election cycle.

So who is to blame? Congress, or the people who reelect our politicians that comprise the government? Is the congressional body more incompetent than any given uninformed citizen? If everyone took a little time to educate themselves on the political process and made credible efforts to voice their opinions at the polls, then not only will intransigent, feckless Congresspeople certainly have their careers in jeopardy, but the ones who do remain in government will have to listen more closely to the American people.

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