Gridlock in Washington reflects a partisan divide in America

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 23, 2014 — Democrats denounce supposed gridlock in Washington as a way of pressuring Republicans to go along with their tax-and-spend socialist agenda. Conservatives have lots of good ideas — as evidenced by this month’s CPAC conference — but elected Republicans generally seem reluctant or even afraid to embrace them.

Every Saturday pollster Scott Rasmussen does a “week in review.” This week, he asked rhetorically, “Is anyone in Washington, D.C., listening to voters?”

The answer is no.

A divided nation is behind the partisan divide. Consider Rasmussen’s poll results when questions are broken down by party affiliation:

Generally speaking, would you prefer,

Rep

Dem

Other

More active gov’t w/more services & higher taxes

6%

48%

23%

Smaller gov’t w/ fewer services and lower taxes

89%

38%

63%

 

Should the era of big government be over?

Rep

Dem

Other

Yes

72%

26%

52%

No

11%

43%

23%

 

Will more gov’t spending & higher taxes help or hurt the economy?

Rep

Dem

Other

Help

6%

38%

21%

Hurt

88%

36%

62%

No impact

1%

13%

7%

The numbers are clear: The views of Republican and Democrat voters are opposites, although not polar opposite. Democrats seem more evenly split on the questions. “Others,” which include people not affiliated with either major party, more closely match Republicans.

Given this divide, shouldn’t the government be pursuing policies more reminiscent of the Reagan era than the Roosevelt era?

The answer is a little complex. In poll after poll the attitudes of the “political class” are shown to be the polar opposite of the population at large. While the tables above reflect an electorate almost evenly divided in thirds, the attitudes of the political class very strongly resemble the Democrat column.

The political class are politicians, academia, and the press. They are concentrated inside the Washington D.C. beltway and a few other places that take their cues from Washington. Our representatives are not in touch with the people, but only with each other. This is true regardless of party or level of government. Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana didn’t maintain a residence in the state. Former legislators Bob Dole, a Republican, and Tom Daschle, a Democrat, work for the same lobbying firm.

In Colorado, recalled State Sen. John Morse lived not in his district, but in Denver.

Running for reelection at age 76, Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi claims not to have heard about the Tea Party.

At some level, the people understand that their representatives are not representing them. In another poll result, Rasmussen reports that only 29 percent of people think that elected representatives should be reelected. Yet over 95 percent of incumbents are reelected.

The gridlock will continue unless something changes. What we have now is a government run by a minority in their own interest. To have a government run for the people we need legislators of the people.

The Constitution gives us the chance to elect the right kind of legislators every two years.  November is coming and it’s time again to clean House.

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  • sweetie

    It’s so opposite, no wonder congress can’t agree on anything. I’m amazed at how many democrats desire more government. They have got to be the children Santa Claus visits on a monthly basis.

    • acmaurer

      After 30 years of liberal propagandizing in the public schools, I’m a bit surprised it’s not more!

  • cliftonbritt

    Yes, a lot of remember the created fiasco at the George Washington Bridge, NYC, and who created it.