When I was a college student, U.S. Rep. Sam Gibbons explained to me why he couldn’t vote for the Civil Rights Act in 1964. He said the folks back home didn’t want him to, and if he went against the wishes of his people — that’s how he put it — he would lose his job come the next election. It’s a fundamental reality of politics. Keep your constituents happy, or they will vote you out of office. Remember that you are elected by them to serve their interests, not your own.
Gibbons retired in 1997 after serving 17 consecutive terms in Congress. He never lost an election. He must have had his finger on the pulse of “his people.”
Today’s Republican-dominated Congress, desperate to negate anything associated with President Barack Obama, struggles to repeal and replace his greatest achievement — the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare. The Indiana Republican Party, eager to gather ammunition to support its claims that Obamacare is a failure, posted on Facebook an invitation to respond to this invitation: ‘What’s your Obamacare horror story? Let us know.” Quickly, more than 1,500 took the bait, but the results weren’t what GOP officials expected. The vast majority of respondents supported Obamacare. Some of the positive comments were glowing.
So we need to ask: What do the folks back home really want, and are the people we elect representing our interests or their own? We know the answers. We know the truth.
In last November’s presidential election, Americans chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a wide margin, 65.8 million votes to 62.9 million. Clearly, most American voters wanted her to be president.
The latest Rasmussen telephone and online survey shows that 15 percent of likely U.S. voters rate the job Congress is doing as good or excellent, 15 percent! and 56 percent think Congress is doing a poor job. We know they are failing us. The president’s effectiveness numbers also continue to fall. Now only 37 per cent of us approve of the job he’s doing.
We, the people, wanted Clinton. We, the people, want to preserve Obamacare. We, the people, know that Congress is failing us. We, the people, and the entire world, including our enemies, know that Trump is a failure. Even now, he’s on the road reinforcing his reputation as he visits with world leaders.
Over the recent Independence Day holiday, our elected representatives carefully avoided face-to-face contact with the folks back home because they know where they stand with us. They know they are failing us, and they know that we vote.
Yes, we do.