Something very bad is happening in our country to an extent I’ve never seen in my long life. And it greatly worries me. It ought to seriously worry every American.

I don’t put great faith in what I read and see in reporting about most polls, even those conducted by respected national pollsters. News organizations nearly always report only overall findings without delving into the meaning of the pieces of the puzzle that almost always tell more than one story. Maybe even a more important story than the reported headline. Most such organizations aren’t equipped for such analysis.

But occasionally, a poll comes along … maybe multiple polls on the same subject … wherein the outcome is so lopsided it doesn’t take a lot of specialized training to grasp the full meaning. Such is the case with new samplings of American opinion published this week by Gallup and last week by CBS News. These are the cause of my great concern.

Both organizations were after the same nationwide information in recent days: “Do you approve or disapprove of the job members of the Congress of the United States are doing?” Very simple question. “Yes” or “No” with no shades of gray to blur the outcome. No special knowledge of government necessary to have an opinion.

The Gallup disapproval rating: 83 percent. CBS News: 77 percent.

Gallup showed just 16 percent approval by Democrats, down from 38 percent in October. A drop of more than half in 60 days. Approval by Independents was 13 percent and seven percent for Republicans. For both organizations, the negative numbers were the lowest in their polling histories.

I’m not a trained poll reader, not a statistician and have no special gift or legitimate methodology education to know what all the internal information contained in these two reports means. But with results as lopsided as these, common sense is about all you need.

We have just completed a bitter national election involving record numbers of voters. The various outcomes have been debated for weeks by the “talking heads” and other pundits. We’ve been told to believe the meaning of our balloting was “this-that-or-the -other” depending on which side of the fence the opining was being done.

Without picking a fence side and shooting straight down the neutral middle, the question this new information leaves me with is this: How long can a nation survive and effectively govern itself when the governed have nearly no faith in … much less respect for … those doing the governing?

Dump all the crap about the far right, the far left, tea parties, two parties, third parties, independents and all the other divisions we’ve created for ourselves. None of that … none of it … is relevant when you’re talking survival of an entire political system of government.

While the new crop in congress has not yet taken the oath, evidence is already piling up those fresh faces will eventually look and act pretty much like the bunch they’re replacing. Their “outsider” status will evolve to “insider” and they will soon resort to the same money-raising, vote-chasing traits as those we discarded in November. Their promises not to “ear mark” will be replaced by efforts to secure “selected government spending” for their many constituents. Pledges will be greatly diluted by Potomac River water. Currying voter favor and job protectionism will become personal “congressional issues.”

I see the new congress very much like the one we have now. And the one we have now has just been judged by respondents in two national polls and found guilty of being wholly ineffective in the conduct of our business.

The overwhelming negative results of these two experienced polling organizations are being looked at by other nations. When more than four in five citizens disapprove of their own elected government representatives, we can be seen from overseas as a weakened country with nearly no national will to support decisions of the leadership we have just said we overwhelmingly disapprove of.

Congress … especially the Senate … is ignoring citizen direction on many issues i.e. don’t task-don’t tell, debt reduction, ending two wars, etc. We’ve told members repeatedly which paths we want to take and they have repeatedly taken the other. Or ignored us.

Looking at reasons behind failures of many nations in history, you will often find governments either out of touch with the people or who ignored the will of the people. We may not yet be at a point to repeat the French Revolution. But the gridlocked, “let-‘em-eat-cake” attitude of too many on Capital Hill may indicate they should brush up on some French history.

Comments are closed.