House of misinterpretation

A Gallup poll released Tuesday announced that Congress had an approval rating of 9 percent. Since the Gallup Organization began polling Americans on their views of Congress in 1974, the average rating has been 33 percent, peaking at 56 percent after the September 11 attacks.

So people have never been overwhelmingly in favor of what Congress is doing, and there is plus/minus 4 percentage points in this poll, but 9 percent is dismal. Lowly, even. Dim. Ghastly. Horrid. Miserable. Doleful. All of the above.

Nine percent is bad. But look at everything that’s happened to — not just Congress — but the Federal government as a whole lately. Between the 15-day shutdown in October, the failures of the website for people to purchase insurance through the Affordable Care Act, the unemployment rise in October and the strong bipartisanship throughout almost all levels of government, people just do not like the government.

That dislike can trickle down to the local level, leading to things like Youngstown’s 30 percent voter turnout for elections on Nov. 5.

“I think government makes people apathetic. I think, probably, what’s going in Washington doesn’t help,” Joyce Kale-Pesta, the director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections, said in an interview with The News Outlet.

What’s a government to do?

It’s become cliché by this point, but ending bipartisanship is a huge step forward. Standing up for what you believe in and representing your core values is one thing, but shutting down parts of the government because another group wants something that goes against your beliefs is a line too far.

And Republicans aren’t the only ones to blame for this low rating. The Democratic Party has been faced with scandals, such as Anthony Weiner’s sexting incidents in 2011 and an inability to meet in the middle with moderate Republicans that have similar ideologies to many Democrats.

The public can solve all of this if they just show up to vote. Vote senators and representatives that don’t do their job well out of office. Heck, vote third party if you think they’ll get the job done. Get out there and raise voter turnout from 30 percent, because in the end, when you have someone elected by 30 percent of the people to represent 100 percent of the people, things won’t work.

So go out, use your vote and change something.

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