Consent of the Governed

Some noteworthy numbers out of Rasmussen:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 17% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government today has the consent of the governed.  Sixty-nine percent (69%) believe the government does not have that consent. . . . .

The number of voters who feel the government has the consent of the governed - a foundational principle, contained in the Declaration of Independence - is down from 23% in early May and has fallen to its lowest level measured yet.

Perhaps it's no surprise voters feel this way since only eight percent (8%) believe the average member of Congress listens to his or her constituents more than to their party leaders. That, too, is the lowest level measured to date.  Eighty-four percent (84%) think the average congressman listens to party leaders more than the voters they represent.

Voter approval of the job Congress is doing has fallen to a new low - for the second month in a row. Only six percent (6%) now rate Congress' performance as good or excellent.


Samuel Wilson said...

I see the point you intend to make, but those respondents are being stupid. Unless they're willing to admit that they haven't voted, their voting is their act of consent -- and that includes consenting to the outcome even if their candidate didn't win. If Americans believe that they're being governed without their consent simply because they're being represented by someone they voted against, that's their problem, not the nation's. If they think that representatives put party before constituents, they should recall that they elected parties to power. If they don't mean to do that, they should find a different way to vote.

d.eris said...

Indeed. But, I think one could also make a good case that a lot of people who earnestly voted for sitting Republicans and Democrats justifiably feel that their representatives do not represent them. On the other hand, given how widespread strategic, lesser evil voting is, people should not be surprised that the officials they vote into office do not represent them, or do things to which they refuse to consent.

The question is why do they keep voting for these people. And the problem is how do we convince them to vote differently.