Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Gavin Shulman: Searching for Approval

According to Gallup's most recent poll, Congress's current approval rating of 11 percent is the lowest in the history of Gallup measuring the current approval rating of Congress. And while it could be a ton of fun to mock our chosen leaders and their never ending game of gridlock, I think this begs, on both its knees, another question. What does that say about us as an electorate? What is our approval rating? What is your approval rating?

We are a vicious cycle. We are a rut. We, the people, are an eternal stalemate. We love confrontation and hate cooperation. Can't we all just get along? Where would the fun be in that? Why would we watch? Why would we care? We'd much rather argue, and disagree, and scream at each other. It's what makes this country great. Compromise is for wussies. We inherited a two party system, and were going to stick with it, as long as we never find out which side is right.

You. You voted for Obama. You put his sticker on your car. You celebrated his victory with a tall cocktail and a pat on the back. You were pumped. But then you got bored. Because you found out that politics is a bitch. That change maybe is a gonna come, but definitely it a gonna come slowly. That because you believed in one politician doesn't mean a bunch of the rest of them aren't crummy. That Obama didn't have a big, black magic stick after all. And so you got pissed. And you so were over it. And after two years you just couldn't be bothered. What's your approval rating?

And you. You tea drinking morons. You got all riled up when a guy named Obama became president. You were horrified. You shit in your separate, loveless beds. So you made signs. And wore funny hats. And went screaming into your church basements. You scared the hell out of everyone and rammed through the biggest bunch of crazies ever to sit in Congress. And now you don't even recognize yourself. Or them. What's your approval rating?

Or even you. Marching in the street. Fighting the good fight. Tarping against TARP. You crazy bastards. Getting pepper-sprayed for dinner. Dancing and chanting at the top of your lungs. Frightening off everyone who hears what you're saying. Horrifying everyone who wants to be on your side. You won't even pick a fight. Sure, it's great to be pissed off for pissed offs sake, but it's probably not going to get many results. So, what's your approval rating?

And finally you. Moderates. What the hell happened to you? Where'd you go in all of this? What are you, afraid to be reasonable? The middle of the road has never been so narrow. Everyone's loveable politically incorrect uncle is now just politically incorrect. From watching too much news. No one wants their politics in moderation. They want it full-on, fast and furious, loud and obnoxious, righteous and so effing wrong. So, how do you approve of something that doesn't exist?

You elected this congress, not them. So, if you're seeking approval, start by looking in the mirror, and deciding if you like what you see. Start by asking yourself if the other side were successful, and America were doing great, would you be satisfied, or furious? If America were on the right path, under control of the wrong party, would you be supportive, or would you put up a road block? If we ever chose a side, would we let them do what they said they were going to do, or would we freak out and immediately stop them in their tracks?

Maybe that's our dirty little secret. That when it comes right down to it we're scared to make up our minds. Me and you. We'd rather argue, and complain, and debate in the comments section, than find out. We're petrified to learn the results. Maybe that's why Congress is such a mess. Maybe it's our fear of disapproval.


Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gavin-shulman/congress-approval_b_1165948.html

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