The 2006 Election Frontrunner Is: None of the Above
By: Justin Darr
Democrats might want to wait a few more months before they order the champagne to celebrate their great 2006 election victory over the Republicans. The ever even handed main stream media gleefully points to President Bushâ€™s low approval ratings and asserts that on this alone, the Democrats will regain control of both Houses of Congress, and lay the foundation for retaking the White House in 2008.
Ah! Then America will once again be the land of milk and honey. Oh, wait, that is a phrase from the Bible! We cannot use that. America will once again be the land ofâ€¦ ofâ€¦ who knows, but as long as George Bush is not President it is better than it is today.
Unfortunately, for the Democrats, this is their only vision for the nation if they won back the Congress and White House. And, the American people know it.
Just as Conservatives have been less than enthusiastic about jumping on President Bushâ€™s call for a Constitutional amendment defending marriage because we vividly remember this is about the two millionth time the Republicans have called for a Constitutional amendment defending marriage without doing anything about it, Liberals are tired of hearing Democrats scream about the Iraq War and poverty. And, likewise, try to do nothing about it.
After years of red-hot partisan bickering, generating enough hot gas in campaign promises to free America from its reliance on foreign oil, Americans are seeing their elected leaders as corrupt liars who are willing to say anything to continue enjoying the perks of power. Every election cycle it is the same thing; Constitutional amendments to protect marriage and forbid flag burning for the Conservatives, abortion on demand and universal heath care for the Liberals. However, no matter who seems to hold the reigns of power, our leaders simply do not address these issues after the election cycles are past.
There have been too many â€œTerri Schiavoâ€ failures on both sides, and Americans are finally fed up with both political parties. And, it is showing in the polls.
Everyone knows about President Bushâ€™s job and approval ratings are hovering anywhere between the low to mid 30% range. Not a great statistic. However, according to an ABC News/Washington Post Poll conducted between May 11th and 15th of 2006; the approval rating of Congressional Democrats is only 39%, with a 58% disapproval rating. A five percent difference is hardly a number indicating a landslide victory in November.
Even more telling is a CBS poll conducted between April 6th to the 9th, 2006, which asked, “If the Democrats were in control of Congress now, do you think Congress would do a better job than it has with the Republicans in control, a worse job than it has with the Republicans in control, or about the same job as it has with the Republicans in control?” An astounding 48% of all adults surveyed answered â€œno difference,â€ with 7% unsure. Let us see, 48% plus 7% equals something in the area of 55%, again, hardly an endorsement for the opposition party.
The Republicans have fared no better, showing ratings roughly equal or a bit lower than the Democrats and the President. However, both sides lost on the issue of the culture of corruption that has spread through Washington like a cancer, with the ABC News Poll from May 26-30, 2006 showing that 72% of respondents did not see much difference between the honesty and ethics of politicians of either party.
The Republicans and Democrats are so busy trying to out strategize the other that they have failed to see that the one thing all Americans agree on is that we are sick and tired of them trying to out strategize the other. We want results, not more of the same. And, the apathy indicated in the above polls is indicative that we are hearing nothing but the latter from our leaders.
So how will be the final victors of the 2006 elections? My guess is it will be anticlimactic with the party alignments in Congress changing little, as disenchanted voters once again reelect the incumbents of both parties. At least those who decide to show up and vote. The real winner of the 2006 election might just be voter apathy, with folks staying home because they see an honest candidate worth voting for.
People should vote because it is our most sacred right and solemn responsibility. So, I urge everyone of every political party and ideology to go out and vote. However, would it not be nice if we were motivated to vote because we believed a candidate was truly going to fight for what we believed rather than a sense of obligation?
Â© June 2006, Justin Darr
Justin Darr is a freelance writer living in the Philadelphia area with his wife and twin children. He can be read widely on the Internet and in publications across North America and in Europe. Justin Darr is a staff writer for The New Media Alliance, and proud member of the MoveOff Network.