font-family: 'Arizonia', cursive; Michael Stichauf - "As I understand it now...'til it changes": September 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What The Recent Polls Show About How Americans Are Feeling About Our Politicians

ABC News/New York Times released their most recent Republican nomination poll and the numbers are still astounding, and very revealing, about the way Americans are feeling about their "professional politicians".

If you've been paying attention to the news today, undoubtedly, you've heard about the recent release of the latest poll that has Donald Trump gaining even more percentage points since the last set of polls. In the poll released by "ABC News/New York Times", Donald Trump has gained three more percentage points over the course of the last three days, bringing him up to 27%. Yet, what's even more astounding is the surge in popularity for Ben Carson. In the same three days, Carson has gained seventeen percentage points, bringing him to 23%! Now, you may be saying to yourself, "27%! That's hardly a number to be happy about!" It is a number to be happy about when you are running in a field that has umpteen numbers of other candidates. Here is the most recent ABC News/New York Times poll;

"Which one of these candidates would you like to see the Republican Party nominate for president in 2016: [see below]?"
9/9-13/157/29 -
Donald Trump
Ben Carson

Donald Trump has been in the lead for quite a while now and Ben Carson has also been gaining for some time, also. What makes these two individuals so interesting to the Republican voters? Why are the two people with little to no experience in running for office so compelling for such a conservative group of voters, especially after suffering eight years of what they have been calling a fraudulent, socialist, far left-wing administration under Barak Obama? It seems to me that the only reason for this is that they are tired of the "professional politicians" who've been running this country for decades now.

Clinton and Gingrich 

It's no secret that Americans have been fed-up with the way their country has been governed for some time now. In my view, this really started with some seriousness after Bill Clinton was elected President and the Republican Party felt that they needed to oppose him at every turn. Newt Gingrich, after gaining the Speakership of the House, really started the process of negative actions in regards to the politics of this nation. It really hit its stride when he shut the government down and that's when the public started to see that politics had become personal- but personal to the politicians. It wasn't personal for the rest of the country, they just wanted their politicians to govern and when the government shutdown occurred, the country realized that their politicians didn't care about what that was going to do to the rest of the country. This was the beginning of the end for Gingrich because the country realized that it was Gingrich who was the leading politician in that fiasco and his fellow Republicans realized that he was toxic, also.

Ever since this affair, the politics of our country has become a battlefield which has pitted Democrats against Republicans. No longer were the days when Tip O'Neill and his Democrats would go to dinner with President Reagan at the White House and hash out deals that they knew were going to help the country. Sure, not everything that happened back then was perfect but the politicians worked TOGETHER, despite their party affiliation. They knew that it was good for the country and good for their careers. Unfortunately, ever since the early 90s, politics has become a zero sum game. I'm not just going to bash the Republicans here, there's plenty of blame to go around. Both parties have been involved in this winner take all atmosphere that the public has just grown totally frustrated over. 

An American First

In 2008, America did something that the world, as well as the rest of America, didn't think would happen for decades to come. America elected an African-American President. There were many of us who felt that we had taken a huge stride ahead with that election. But, it wasn't too long before we realized that the Republicans weren't going to stand for Obama's election. What is so frustrating is that the people who we are supposed to put our trust in to run and govern our country are the same people who are exhibiting these ridiculous, deny at any cost, views and actions. Usually, these actions are characteristics of stupid, ignorant people but now we are seeing these characteristics in our politicians in regards to the man who was elected to run our country. This, I believe is a big reason why many Republicans have turned to being interested in two guys who are not "professional politicians". I'm not saying that the Republican voters felt that Obama deserved to be President. What I am saying is that they are tired of this "no holds barred" opposition to running our country. It's not just the Republican voters who want a change though, it's the Democratic ones, also. I'm a firm believer that a good example of the Democrats wanting a change from the "professional politician" is the election of Barak Obama as President. Obama was only a one-term Senator when he ran for the Presidency and he showed a promise of change as he campaigned. Change, the very thing that all the voters are looking for.

As Obama represented change for the Democratic voters, Trump and Carson are representing that change for the Republican voters. Many voters are tired of the same old campaign rhetoric and the same old campaign styles that have been solidified and carved in stone for many generations now. They are looking for someone different, someone that will surprise them. They are looking for someone who will "tell it like it is" and with Donald Trump, they've got their man. As we all know, by now, Trump isn't anyone's "professional politician", by anyone's standard. Trump has no filter so, consequently, he says things that make people say, "Oh no, he didn't just say that, did he"? He pooh-poohs political correctness and he has ticked many people off! Yet, his numbers keep rising. It seems that Trump's frankness is refreshing for people these days. His opinions on immigration, as rude and confronting as they are, are what many people believe is needed to finally getting a resolution on the issue and finally putting it to an end. 

Ben Carson, now, is the complete opposite of Donald Trump. He's a somewhat soft-spoken man. He doesn't have the bombastic personality of Trump and when you look at the last debate, he hardly got a word in edgewise. Yet, he's a smart man who, again, isn't your "professional politician". So far, with Carson, we haven't seen your typical attack ads that every politician produces. But, he's still an unknown. We still don't know what many of his political beliefs are. So far, though, it hasn't mattered to the electorate. His poll numbers are still rising.

Still Early In The Campaign 

As interesting a time as this is in the coming election, it's also early. As in many elections, there is a "shake-down" period. Early in elections, people like to explore and consider new ideas and views. What may be happening  is that people are thinking to themselves, "Boy, I really like this guy's freshness" and thinking that they still have time before the elections. Years ago, Ross Perot gained much support early on in the campaign contest and because of his newness to the political scene, got many of the top poll spots. But, as the campaign wore on, Perot started to wear on the voters. So, what may be happening is that right now, while voters don't actually have to vote when they are asked who they'd vote for if the election was today, are answering with their emotions because they know that it isn't a real vote (the poll answer). It seems that the American voter, when it finally comes time to vote, resorts back to the safety of "the norm". Although they really like one candidate, they tend to vote for the guy who has been there before because things haven't fallen apart completely. Jimmy Carter is a perfect example of why voters may vote in this fashion. After the fiasco of Nixon, Carter was a fresh, new face on the national level. Yet, many people then thought, after Carter's first term, that he was a failure as President. They saw how the "professional politicians" gave Carter abuse through-out his time in office and realized that it may be too hard for a new face to be President. 

Taking Chances

This is another election cycle, though. The business of our government is at a turning point in the sense that our Congress is really not working for the average citizen. People are frustrated and it may be the right time to really start to make some changes and the Republican voters, now, have a chance to act on that feeling that many people in our country are having. Even the Democrats have a chance to vote for a maverick. Although Bernie Sanders has been a public office holder since 1991, he's not your typical "professional politician" like the rest. He, too, is tired of the "gridlock" that has become the norm in the Congress and he's wanting to make the changes that need to be made for the other "99%" and that's what's been lacking in our government for a long time now. What really needs to happen is for the American voter to take a chance and vote for that new face that has really sparked their interest instead of, when push comes to shove, shrinking back and voting for the norm. Because, if they vote for the norm, they'll get just that... the norm. Nothing will change. But, if they vote for a Trump or a Carson or a Sanders, they'll see that the whole thing just might turn out for the better and then they'll be ready to take a chance with the rest of our other "professional politicians" and vote them out of office.