A recent Gallup poll indicates that voters are unhappier with Obama than they’ve been with his last two predecessors:
Registered voters are more likely to view their choice of candidate in this year’s midterm elections as a message of opposition (32%) rather than support (20%) for President Barack Obama. That 12-percentage-point margin is similar to what Gallup measured for Obama in 2010 and George W. Bush in 2006, years in which their parties performed poorly in the midterm elections.
What’s interesting about this poll question, which has been asked since 1998, is that it tracks how the president’s party fares in mid-term elections. In our political world of centralized bi-partisanship, people often indicate their disapproval of the president by voting against his party in the mid-term elections. No wonder so many Democrats are trying to distance themselves from Obama in 2014.
But the Gallup poll uncovers another reality: voters really aren’t that happy with either party. It is actually a rare thing for the sitting president’s party to gain ground in midterm elections, no matter which party holds the White House. Think about that.
Whether we have a Democrat in office or a Republican, Americans are generally dissatisfied just two years into the term. It really raises the question, “Why do we keep voting Democrat and Republican?” If we really don’t like either party all that much, why do we keep putting one or the other in power? Why not support other parties or other candidates that more consistently uphold our actual values? Don’t we understand that the bi-partisan see-saw we have created only serves the interests of big government? This is precisely what George Washington warned us about in his farewell address: the danger of destroying our democratic republic with party politics.
The most recent Gallup poll should be a sobering reminder of what happens when the machinery of government overrides the will of the people and the structure of the law of the land. But what can we do about it now?