It’s no surprise to anyone that Americans have zero faith in their so-called “Representatives.” The vast majority of these folks are lying, thieving, white-collar criminals, and we all know it. The real question is what, if anything, are we going to do about it?
I’m not someone who believes in centralized power, and I question whether in a world with the technological connectivity we have today, if we actually need to vote for someone else to vote for us. This seems like an extremely inefficient and outdated process. I haven’t yet come to my own conclusions on what specifically might be a preferable system, but I am certainly a proponent of decentralizing government and the political process itself. For more on this concept, I suggest, reading the following post from last week: The Coming Digital Anarchy.
While I do think our current system of government is overly centralized and outdated, I still think it’s important to send these corrupt political cronies a message as long as this system remains in place. This is already happening, as we saw with Dave Brat’s stunning victory over corporatist kingpin Eric Cantor. Furthermore, it appears Democrats are also at serious risk from the public’s disdain, as 22-term Rep. Charlie Rangel is finding out now (for more of my thoughts on this read, Is Charlie Rangel the Next to Go? 22-Term New York Democrat Faces Serious Primary Threat).
Moving along, the latest article from Gallup contains some stunning revelations as well as a shocking statement. First of all, it reports how only 7% of Americans say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress. This is a record low since the question was first asked in 1974, and handily beats the prior low of 10% in 2010. Moreover, it was “the lowest Gallup has recorded for any institution in the 41-year trend.” If you don’t think this is hugely important, think again. The 4th Turning is alive and well.
We learn from Gallup that:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ confidence in Congress has sunk to a new low. Seven percent of Americans say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress as an American institution, down from the previous low of 10% in 2013. This confidence is starkly different from the 42% in 1973, the first year Gallup began asking the question.
Americans’ current confidence in Congress is not only the lowest on record, but also the lowest Gallup has recorded for any institution in the 41-year trend. This is also the first time Gallup has ever measured confidence in a major U.S. institution in the single digits. Currently, 4% of Americans say they have a great deal of confidence in Congress, and 3% have quite a lot of confidence. About one-third of Americans report having “some” confidence, while half have “very little,” and another 7% volunteer that they have “none.”
So how do Americans view many of the other institutions in society?
The most interesting aspect of the above is the fact “news on the internet” is more trusted than “television news.” The most disturbing part of the above is that the popularity of the military makes come sort of coup a serious concern down the road if we have a serious collapse.
Now here’s the most shocking line from Gallup:
The dearth of public confidence in their elected leaders on Capitol Hill is yet another sign of the challenges that could face incumbents in 2014′s midterm elections – as well as more broadly a challenge to the broad underpinnings of the nation’s representative democratic system.
Gallup seems to believe that the corruption in D.C. poses an existential threat to the nation itself. I agree. This is why we cannot settle for small cosmetic changes at the edges of the current system, which as academics from Princeton and Northwest proved, is an oligarchy. We need wholesale systemic change, preferably a radical shift into decentralized political, social and economic structures. The more centralized power is, the more ripe for corruption. As we are seeing today.
Full article here.