The approval rating for Congress has been hovering at about 20 percent now for the past decade or so. This is a horrible statistic but one that those in Congress don’t seem to care much about. The question is, what causes the vast majority of Americans to think that Congress is doing such a bad job?
Could it be that our representatives in Congress as a whole don’t seem to be able to implement the will of the majority of Americans? When you look at opinion polls, the majority of Americans want to fight climate change, reduce our national debt, and fix our corrupt political system by implementing Independent Redistricting Commissions, term limits, legislation doing away with Citizens United, and abolishing the Electoral College.
The latest example of our Congress’s operational capability is the second impeachment trial of our former president. As expected, the result was a close-to-party-line vote with 57 voting guilty and 43 voting not guilty. 67 votes were needed to convict. Seven Republicans did however vote guilty.
But, what would you expect when the majority of those in Congress represent the ends of the ideological spectrum while almost no one represents the middle. The Democrats base is primarily the ideological far left and the poor and the Republicans base is primarily the ideological far right and the wealthy. With each side having close to the same number of party faithful, why should we expect the results being achieved by our Congress to be any different?
There is an old saying that goes: “When you do what you did, you get what you got.” The real question is, with most Americans so unhappy about what is going on in Congress, why don’t we do something about it? It is because we have a huge paradigm in this country which is that only two major political parties are required to run the U.S. because that is the way it has always been.
Having only two political parties to choose from is ripping our country apart. It is also causing all of our problems, such as our out-of-control national debt and the inability to do anything about climate change, to get worse. The U.S. is one of only a few countries in the world to have a two-party political system and it is failing us.
As simple as it sounds, a third major centrist tie-breaker political party would allow us to solve all of our country’s problems. Plus, the government would start doing things that make sense because the centrist party would be the one to determine which policies get enacted. Based on recent polling data, over 60 percent of Americans and over 70 percent of millennials agree that we need a third major centrist political party.
But nothing will happen without you. Don’t buy into the “that will never happen” way of thinking that is so common. There are several fledgling efforts out there working to accomplish this such as the Alliance Party (theallianceparty.com), the Reform Party (reformparty.org), and Represent.Us.
Besides supporting these groups, there are other things that you can do individually if you feel frustrated and frightened about what is going on in our country. Start a local group such a Facebook or Meetup group. If you are a student, start a group at your school or university. Do anything that you can to change the paradigm.