Doug Shoen wrote a column in today’s Washington Post warning politicians to beware of what he is calling RAMs or “restless and anxious voters”. Aside from his nauseating fawning over his current employer, Bill Clinton, I think Shoen nails something important about the current state of the American voter – we’ve had it.
From the article:
Voters today aren’t just fed up with the status quo; they’re furious. In a Gallup poll last month, only 24 percent of Americans said they were satisfied with the state of the country — one of the lowest readings ever recorded. And it’s not just George W. Bush they’re mad at. Public approval ratings for the Democratic-controlled Congress are even lower than the president’s. According to a 2006 poll taken by my former firm, Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, 61 percent of voters say the two major parties are failing, and a survey last year by the Republican pollster Frank Luntz showed that 81 percent of voters would consider voting for an independent this year.
Yep, that sounds about right.
In the past I’ve written about ways that the Republicans, the supposed party of family values, consistently betrays American families in order to do the will of other, richer forces. (See here, here, and here.) Of course, the Democrats are just as bad or worse. I guess the best I can say about them is that they are honest enough not to even pretend to care about two parent, heterosexual, married families. The end result really is a strong sense that no one is willing to do the right things for our country. Talk is seen as a substitute for real change. Regulations which should prevent predatory and unethical behavior have been reduced to nothing more than a requirement that the predators explain in writing how they’re going to screw you over – not that they refrain from screwing you.
Our energy policy is a great example of how every particular group’s interest comes before the good of the country and the average citizen. 30 years ago, Brazil invested heavily in sugar cane based ethanol production. The USA didn’t, in part because of pressure from OPEC. When we finally did get around to producing ethanol, we used corn. Now corn based ethanol is being highly subsidized despite the fact that it takes as much or more energy to produce ethanol as we get back. Depending on the variables, for every .7 units of energy derived from corn based ethanol, it takes 1 unit of energy to make it. And using corn to create ethanol is potentially disruptive to world wide food supply as corn meant for human and animal consumption is diverted into government subsidized ethanol production. It’s just ridiculous and any politician who won’t own up to this sort of nonsense and has the gall to claim that they’re serving the people should be run out of town on a rail.
And don’t even get me started on the Republican tendency to claim that political donations are just people exercising free speech. I just read today that 1% of Americans are responsible for 80-90% of political donations. So 1% of Americans are responsible for 80-90% of the “free speech” and those who dare to protest are commies? Gimme a break!
Anyways, I got off track there, but I think y’all get the point. You can count me as a RAM – “Really Angry Mom”.