In such a time when polarization is believed to be at its highest, there is a single
thing that still unifies the center to the left and right. This is the disparagement held by the people with regard to Washington, the political system and the elected leaders driving this system. In every corner you walk, people have reasons as to why they feel manipulated, shut out or in some cases deprived of the hard truth. Political campaigns are controlled by big sums of money and rather than the Congress’ members legislate, they often posture and from time to time they use political speeches as a highway for wholesome spins and half-truths.
The effects these have had on American people can easily be predicted. A recent Washington Post-ABC News Poll revealed that three out of four people are not satisfied with the functioning of the US political system. Furthermore, a Quinnipiac University poll revealed that 8 or more people out of a possible 10 believe that the government does the right thing only on very rare occasions.
Another recent research carried out by the Pew Research Center indicated that an amazing 55% of US citizens are of the view that today’s Congress when compared to recent Congresses has achieved very little. More recently, a report by Gallup revealed that only one-fifth believe that those serving in today’s Congress deserve re-elections. If this stays like this up until November, it’ll represent Gallup’s lowermost percentage in a mid-term year since 1992.
Campaigns are usually dominated by speeches of wealthy individuals with political schemas. The libertarian and conservative Koch brothers are arguably the most protuberant practitioners of a trend that is quickly accelerating and have becomes today’s symbols. Perhaps they are at it again; shelling out a number of hundred million dollars to try and influence the coming election’s outcomes. But they are not alone; large and small billionaires, liberal and conservative are all in for a share of the action.
Of course there are arguments about the role money plays in politics as well as the impact it has on election outcomes. However, many Americans are of the view that possible corruption and favoritism are behind this actions.
Some politicians may be quick to present their discontent with this money; however, they choose to be very selective with their targets. For example, Majority Leader of the Senate Harry M. Reid has constantly criticized the actions of the Koch brothers. He believes that the two are in politics only but to make money. He has the right to criticize whoever he feels. But when it comes to his Nevadan counterpart Sheldon Adelson, Reid has totally special regards. Adelson is a Las Vegas casino tycoon who put an estimated $100 million into the Republican 2012 presidential campaign. Reid thinks that Adelson is not in it to make money. Most of the money raised is usually directed towards TV ads for and by the respective candidate.
Everyone is aware that political candidates are often dedicated towards fund raising activities more than engaging with voters. A suitable example of this is a memo first published by National Review Online last year, planning the campaign of Democrat Michelle Nunn who is running for Georgia’s Senate, describing how she should spend her campaign time. Her advisers recommended that she should spend 80% of her time during the first quarter of this year on raising funds, 70% in the second quarter of the year and 70% in the final quarter. Further recommendations by the memo were that she still spends half of her time in the final month of the campaign raising money. Today, this is a norm for most political candidates. Candidates are devoted towards raising money rather than talk to voters. As a result, the people feel neglected and shut out of these political campaigns.
As this happens, vital legislation in the Congress keeps deteriorating. Today, many Americans believe that the political system is broken and rigged.