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If We Don’t Trust Them, Why Do We Re-elect Them

Updated on June 2, 2010
From The Alamo
From The Alamo


According to CBS News-New York Times Poll only 8% of Americans want the members of Congress re-elected.  I know polls vary but this is a low number. Eighty percent of us think that members of Congress are more interested in serving special interests than the American people. 

In another poll the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 31% of US voters don’t want their representative to Congress re-elected while 49% said they did want their incumbent representative re-elective.  This doesn’t look good for the incumbents.

At Rasmussen Reports 71% give Congress a poor rating.  More voters think members of Congress are corrupt.  60% of us don’t believe that the party leaders know what is needed to fix today’s problems. 

While these numbers vary from poll to poll and day to day, it is easy to see that we are not happy with the job our elected representatives are doing.  Talk to your friends, neighbors, co-workers, they are not satisfied.  Yet we re-elect over 90% of the incumbents.

In November 2004 we re-elected 99% of the incumbent Congressmen and 96% of the incumbent Senators.  What is wrong with us?  They are not that good at governing.  They are good at campaigning and collecting campaign dollars.

Incumbents are hard the remove for many reasons.  Taxpayers give each member of congress money for a staff in Washington and back home, travel money between their home district or state and free postage for informational letters to their constituents.  They can politic while collecting a paycheck.  A challenger has to pay the bills while running against an incumbent.  Incumbents have media access.  Incumbents have a campaign organization from previous campaigns.  Incumbents have large amounts of campaign contributions compared to challengers.

 We also don’t examine their voting records.  We elect them and many times they vote against our interests.  They vote for the interests of their largest donors, corporations.   They always stand on the popular side of the latest polls even if they have to change their position a few times.

  We need to hold elected officials accountable.  We need to pay attention to the bills they vote for and against.  We need independent candidates who do not always vote with a party.  Put simply, we need representation and we won’t get if we keep re-electing over 90% of them.



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    • GNelson profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Florida

      Valentine Logar, It is amazing that some of these politicians can get elected on sound bites. They never answer a question. They just stay with the script and people accept that.

    • Valentine Logar profile image

      Valentine Logar 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Very well done, just came across because of your answer to a question. You aren't wrong we need sweeping change, problem? Apathy? I think it is more than this, I think it is a lack of education combined with sound bite special interest voter management.

    • Michael Willis profile image

      Michael Willis 

      7 years ago from Arkansas

      I wish the corruption, lies and self-serving among our politicians would change, but we know it it way too late to make that change now.

      If by chance...someone who was truly honest and would serve the people who voted for them got elected...that elected person would be a "lame-duck" politician.

      Without the support of other politicians this candidate would have no "Bills" supported or passed through legislation. It is sad, but true.

      We the People have stood by so many decades and let this happen. We re-elect people who should not be in Politics and why?

      They speak well? They are Handsome or she is Hot? My family has always voted Democrat/Republican? (You be amazed at how much this statement is true!) They came from my area?

      It would take a complete "sweep" to even have a chance to change things.

      Great article!!!

    • BobbiRant profile image


      8 years ago from New York

      Well look at the time Al Gore ran, corruption at the polls? Sure looks like that to me. We accuse other governments of doing the crooked deeds American government has been doing for years. US government ought to know when other countries are corrupt, US government has the play book. Great hub.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Once the folks are elected they are all republicans. It's all money. There are no democrats after election day. This is America. It's "the" capitalistic nation. All bow to corporations!

      About WalMart- It may be true to a big degree but they aren't guilty alone. Textiles are DEAD in America. Tommy Hilfiger takes his manufacturing to an American commonwealth island. He settles a class action suit for sweat shops. He sells his shirts for $150 at the mall, not WalMart. Calvin Klein shirts are $52 at the mall, made in Bangladesh. I'll take MallWart over these guys. Fact is- "big" business is ruining the world. Thank you Sir!

    • GNelson profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Florida

      Rebublican, Democrat, same guy different hat. I want a politican who votes with their head not their wallet.

    • justom profile image


      8 years ago from 41042

      Great hub man, even with term limits I think it's still meet the new boss, same as the old boss. As long as we keep electing millionaires (which you have to be now to run)we will get nowhere. I am for taking this country back though and it's time!! Peace!!

    • GNelson profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Florida

      Do you remember when WalMart sold American goods? If it wasn't for WalMart, China's biggest export would be fire works and you could find a hardware store.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Leave Wallmart out? Saying that just put you on their "hitlist" lol They're such heartless pigs (those who run Wallmart that is), I wonder how they live with themselves, the bastards.

    • GNelson profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for the great comments. I think it is possible to change this situation. Moving back to local economies would be a great start. Of course, that would leave WalMart out. Term limits would help, too. We need to elect officials that will represent us. That can be done locally. There are plenty of good ideas out there but that is another hub.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles

      I agree with Mr. Happy, the voting system is out of date and voters are suffering from apathy since no matter who is in power things are going from bad to worse and the only ones who profit are the corporations that run this country.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      North America needs to change the voting system to one of proportional representation and people have to wake up and become more involved in politics (which would maybe result in a higher percentage of voters). Good bloog and needed.

    • thevoice profile image


      8 years ago from carthage ill

      terrific five start hub thanks

    • dabeaner profile image


      8 years ago from Nibiru

      Good points, but for naught.

      The reason is simply that most people are idiots and sheep. Unfortunately, you can't educate idiots. They vote on the basis of name recognition and sound bites. And as sheep, they vote not for what might be the best candidate (even if they had the intellect and knowledge to do that), but limit their decisions to the major party candidates.

    • maven101 profile image


      8 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Excellent commentary...I couldn't agree with you more...I would only add that education is the only answer to this lemming-like stampede to re-elect incumbents simply by name recognition or party affiliation...

      Folks must educate themselves, become responsible citizens by becoming intellectually engaged with their representatives and their voting records...

      Critical thinking is diminishing in the US as more and more folks are letting the media do their thinking for them...A well-informed and concerned citizenry is our only protection against tyranny and corruption...Thank you for this...Larry


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