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Political Emotion

Political decisions are driven in large part by emotion. The people vote by emotion, legislators vote with emotion, and before long we all need a good chat with a therapist to figure out what the heck is going on. I am not a therapist, but sometime the underlying symptoms are so obvious, even a layman can make the diagnosis. Ladies and gentleman, I’m afraid to say we have some trust issues.Emotional.jpg

How does that make you feel?

It’s really no wonder we don’t trust our representatives at the GA or in Congress – it’s not as if things have been working out too well for us lately. In a poll out yesterday, less than a quarter of respondents said they trust the General Assembly to make decision in the best interest of the state. Compare that to a recent nationwide poll that found that just over 10% of the population trust Congress, and it’s pretty clear that we have some problems.

The problem seems to be that we are missing the “representative” part of “representative democracy”. The media net worth of an average American is $100,000.00, whereas the average net worth of a Congressperson is over $900,000. Every Congressperson has a fully-paid healthcare plan, while nearly 50 million Americans lack even basic coverage.

How does that make you feel?

I’m not blaming politicians for their good fortune, but I am suggesting that they should stop blaming us for our lack of it. If I could make the laws that benefited me and my friends while excluding you and your friends, I think my “luck” would be on the rise as well. I might even think I earned it.

This lack of trust, crisis of confidence, or whatever you want to call it, is bad news for all of us. If we cannot trust those we elect to competently represent us, then how are we to trust the very government they propose to run? As a progressive, I believe in the awesome power of government as change agent to make the investments and choices that private industry is unwilling or unable to make. But I understand that if we cannot trust government, then that job is so much more difficult than it even is currently. After all, democracy only exists by the will of the people.

How does that make you feel?