The Anti-Incumbent Sentiment


In recent years the attitude against incumbents has dramatically increased. According to a 2011 Gallup poll, 63% of Americans believe most members of Congress do not deserve to be re-elected. This percentage went from 52 in 2007 to 65 in 2010.

This feeling only escalates during times of budget crises, which is exactly what we are in now. Although people elected Republicans to stand strong against spending and tax increases, their support stops when conflict begins. Common belief is both parties are just sticking to party platforms in order to prove a political point. This is not the case. They were sent there to get America back on the right track and that is exactly what they are trying to do. We all knew this wouldn’t be easy and it wouldn’t be fast.

There cannot be a compromise on the budget. Half of a bad thing is still a bad thing. This is an ideological battle. Do we want politicians who just “get along”, or do we want leaders that will represent the views of every day Americans? It is our job as voters to vote out the bad politicians, but we also need to use discernment and keep in politicians who will stand by their values.

You cannot just vote out every incumbent, every time.

It takes over half the session just to catch up freshman politicians at a state level. I could not imagine how ineffective the federal government would become. This does not mean that term limits should not be put into place or that career politicians are good, rather we as voters have a responsibility to perform our civic duties as informed voters. That is why we have a democracy. If all you do is vote out incumbents you are taking the easy way out and everyone loses. Instead of having the best candidate we will have whoever the opponent happens to be and we will lose the leadership of many great men and women. Is this really the road we as a country want to go down?


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