The recent election may indeed have brought forth another four years for a president some Americans have a major problem with, but the truly criminal act is that a majority of people we all dislike somehow found their way back into office.
According to a Gallup poll conducted in October, our congressional officials had a 21 percent approval rate, and yet, after the election, 91 percent of incumbents were re-elected into their position. The concept that a number of congressional officials found their way back into office, even though we have a strong distaste for their actions, should be a wake-up call to those of us exercising our right to vote. This does, however, beg the question as to how we perceive approval rates.
In almost every election, we are asked to see how we rate our congressional men and women, yet each time we go to the polling stations and press our fingers against the button for a “straight ticket,” allowing our screens to flood in either total red or blue votes. In doing this, we know we have not made a difference. We have allowed ourselves a large amount of leisure time as opposed to researching those who will be representing us in Washington or Topeka.
Their names become nothing but mere white noise on ballots, unless they reach cataclysmic status through our media, as with Todd Akin, and only then do we know that we do not want them representing us.
As a fellow student recently put it, our elected officials are essentially quarterbacks to those who do not follow sports – we know their names, and we know which team they play for, but beyond that, they are simply a small part of a group that we cheer for.
I believe the main point is not to pay attention to these supposed “approval” ratings. They mean nothing to you or me. I know of Gov. Sam Brownback’s actions and proposals toward education reforms, and I could care less about his approval rating. I know that people will fill voting booths to select straight ticket once more when Kansas needs a new governor or congressional offices filled, and the approval rates will mean nothing then.
Don’t waste your time reading the reports and figures about who is liked more. In the end, does it make a difference?