If you only pay attention to the daily news cycle, you may believe that everyone is concerned with the next White House controversy; but as a person who talks to grassroots activists all over the nation, I can tell you that normal Americans aren’t concerned about what the President will do next—they’re too busy fuming at Congress.
Everyday Americans just want their politicians to fulfill their campaign promises. For example, bumbling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised he was going to pull “out Obamacare root and branch.” But despite this very clear promise, a Republican in the Oval Office, and a Republican controlled Congress, Mitch McConnell couldn’t get it done.
It’s not the President’s use of social media, the Russia scandal, or even the tumultuous administration that has the grassroots furious. It is the continuous inability to fulfill election promises. What causes this anger is not some complicated political angst derived from scouring the news and finding some pundit’s “hot take” that resonates. No, this is basic stuff. Our politicians fail to grasp one of the most basic principles of how to treat other people: if you make a promise, keep it.
A corollary to that principle might be, “if you make an on camera promise over and over to rile up your base, you should really, really keep it.” But this hasn’t occurred to our politicians. According to the Washington Examiner, “all but three Senate Republicans voted early Friday morning for healthcare reform legislation that was so inadequate they demanded assurances from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) that it would never become law.” But even the repeal was loaded with extra spending, demanded by Republicans.
Moderates blame conservatives. Conservatives blame moderates. But the voters, the people being betrayed, continue to be taught that Washington DC can’t be trusted. They are liars and scoundrels without principle.
For years, the media has touted something called the Congressional Approval Rating. Since it’s been around or below 20% for years, it’s not even a pertinent measure. Instead, I propose a Congressional Hate Index, to measure just how angry Americans are.
If that were the scale, it would’ve registered McConnell’s spin of the disastrous outcome. “I and many of my colleagues did as we promised and voted to repeal this failed law. We told our constituents we would vote that way, and when the moment came — when the moment came—most of us did. We kept our commitments.”
When the moment came? We didn’t cast our votes so that McConnell and his cohorts could cast their vote for a failed bill and then stand in front of a camera and say, “hey, we tried.” We’re sick and tired of the deception, incompetence, and arrogance on full display. Although Republicans will most likely hold onto their congressional majorities in 2018, we now know with 100% certainty that they’ll do absolutely nothing with the power given to them by the voters.
Voters don’t care about Donald Trump’s volatility, who said what on Twitter, or that the President hired and fired a vulgar Communications Director. We do care that our elected politicians shamelessly lied to the American people in order to get votes. That is its own sort of vulgarity, and we will not forget it.