As the midterm elections approach, Americans are reminded about the fundamental issue with their nation today: the inability to get anything done. But of course, the natural tendency is not to blame oneself, but rather to find a scapegoat. And here, like the assumed fallacy in a mathematical proof, we arrive at our contradiction.
The real irony in blaming Congress or the President or anyone else the news stations will name drop is that these officials, either directly or otherwise, are elected by the people.
But even the word “elected” is almost contradictory. Not even because of the lie that we tell ourselves about Presidential elections, known as the Electoral College, but rather because of who turns out to vote.
And by that I mean almost no one.
For the big guy, the President, a steady 60 to 70 percent of eligible voters show up at the polls. This number is disappointing at first, but then a little more disappointing when you consider what percentage of the 60 knows that, because of the aforementioned device dreamed up by elitists in 1781, their vote has little-to-no impact on the outcome.
Even more concerning, and embarrassing, than the election turnout is the generally 20 to 30 percent lower turnout out for midterm elections. And these candidates, our Senators and Representatives, not only are elected directly from our vote but also in many ways have more power to affect an average American life than the President. Legislation in most cases influences domestic life while the executive powers are limited to mostly foreign policy and special emergency situations. Of course, all these issues are related, but in short, you can’t blame as much on Obama as you’d like to.
This brings us to the infamous gridlock. Our Congress has been the least effective legislative body of its kind since the first midterm of Obama’s presidency. The politics are ugly, and the amount of legislation both written and passed is at an unprecedented low. From shut downs to Dr. Seuss, this Congress has tried its best to do absolutely nothing.
It just makes one wonder what magic could happen if we had voters who were willing to do more than complain.