Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Another Election: But US Voters Still Not Being Heard

A poll in Ohio shows independent voters are unhappy with the political system. Previous polls have already demonstrated a low level of trust, among independents especially. 70 percent of respondents reported low satisfaction with Ohio politics, with higher figures among independents than among Democrats or Republicans. Dr John Green, distinguished professor of political science at UA, said:

This unhappiness raises questions about the legitimacy of the political process.

Independent voters thought the political system has been unresponsive to the public, especially on the economy. Participants had a variety of views about the problem:

  • we’re not being heard
  • politicians were self-serving careerists
  • politicians were arrogant and insulated from the problems of the public
  • corruption was a common allegation, symbolized by the large sums of money raised and spent in campaigns
  • politicians should “wear patches on their suits from their sponsors” like NASCAR drivers.
  • people were alienated from the political process
  • public officials were puppets of special interest groups.

In the US political system, the buck stops at the presidency, so Obama carried the can, not just for Tea Partyers, but because he had not done enough to address the problems of the average American. But views on Congress were also negative:

  • it needed to be revamped
  • anything would be better than the system we have now
  • members of Congress did not respond to the needs of the public at large
  • we just need new people in government
  • parties were viewed as hell bent on their own agenda
  • parties too far apart on every issue
  • it takes years to get anything done
  • parties needed to put America first
  • parties needed to stay more to the Constitution
  • a third or fourth political party was needed to keep the system honest
  • a “common sense” party was needed to revive the economy and limit the size of government.

Some thought additional parties would not be “common sense” parties, but a base for lunatics, and would not be competitive. If any were a base for lunatics, it would have to be competitive to match the Republican Tea Partyists. Indeed, many independents were skeptical of the Tea Party agenda, but others were supportive. Many accepted that problems were partly their own fault for not being more involved in politics, but anger and distrust were strong motivations for political activity:

  • the people need to exercise their power
  • it is time for a revolution

There needed to be more free access and response from politicians:

  • more and regular town hall meetings
  • quick and thorough responses from contacted officeholders
  • a greater presence of politicians in the community
  • being a politician should not be seen as a job choice but a service to the country.

These lists of solutions offered are incoherent and inconsistent, illustrating the voter disunity, and failure to comprehend what is happening. It reflect the sense of being ignored by the government among independent voters. There is no way that Americans can solve the problem. They live in a society in which the ordinary people, workers and middle classes, refuse to accept they live in a class society in which the ruling class, the rich elite, control their system from top to bottom. As long as that is so, there can be no change unless the ruling class volunteer to give up some of their wealth and power in a redistribution for fairness and justice. It is not likely to happen. So, revolution is the only option, but that requires unity, and US workers are utterly divided and will remain so while the right wing media are so influential, and their target audience are so gullible.

No comments: