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Editorial 11-9
Trump's epic run shows level of dissatisfaction
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Donald Trump has been one of the most polarizing figures in recent political history.
Regardless of your opinion of Mr. Trump, his remarkable run through the Republican Primary and his historic battle in the General Election shows one certainty. Americans are fed up with career politicians, are tired of our bloated and wasteful bureaucracy, and are hungry for any type of change.
Showing dominance locally, Mr. Trump won every precinct in Warren County and made a statement by getting 69.75% of the vote here.
If Americans are so eager for change, perhaps we can channel our energy on more than just the presidential race and focus on Congress. Our presidents can serve for no more than eight years, but Congress is where elected officials can establish roots for decades and never leave.
If we look at the mid-term elections of 2014, we can see voters were not the least bit satisfied with Congress. Just look at a sampling of surveys and questions asked at that time.
• NBC News/Wall Street Journal: "In general, do you approve or disapprove of the job Congress is doing?" Only 12 percent said "approve."
• Fox News: "Do you approve or disapprove of the job Congress is doing?" Only 13 percent said "approve."
• CNN/ORC: "Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?" Only 13 percent said "approve."
Suffice it to say, the congressional approval rating was very low in 2014. Yet you could never tell by the rate incumbents were returned to office.
In 2014, incumbents were returned to the U.S. House of Representatives 96.6% of the time, according to Politifact. In the U.S. Senate, the re-election rate was nearly identical at 95%.
The numbers don't seem to jibe. Americans are greatly upset with the job Congress is doing, according to public opinion polls, yet we're more than happy to keep returning those officials to office.
Here in the 4th District, our own congressman, Dr. Scott DesJarlais, doesn't even have to show up for political forums and he waltzes to victory.
If citizens are in fact fed up with our federal government and are determined to enact change, as the rise of Mr. Trump indicates, it's crucial to remember our government is far more than just our president. There are 535 members of Congress, including Democrat John Conyers, who has served in the House for 51 years.
If Americans are serious about wanting political change, why do we keep returning the same people to Congress?