Americans don’t like the Congresspeople of their own districts

Approval ratings of U.S. congress have been stuck at single digits or low double digits for years. However, Americans tend to like Congresspeople elected in their own districts and states more than they like Congress as a whole.

A recent Rasmussen poll found that Congresspeople are quite unpopular even in their own districts:

[O]nly 25% of voters think their representative in Congress deserves reelection […]. Forty-one percent (41%) now say that representative does not deserve to be reelected, but 34% are undecided.

(This is still much better than Congress as a whole whose approval ratings are at 8%.)

Other findings from the poll:

70% think most [incumbents] get reelected because election rules are rigged in their favor, not because they do a good job representing their constituents.

[O]nly 14% of voters think most members of Congress care what their constituents think, and only slightly more (21%) believe their congressional representative cares what they think. These numbers, too, have been trending down over the last four-and-a-half years and are now at new lows.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) think most members of Congress don’t care what their constituents think, while 17% are not sure. Fifty-three percent (53%) say their representative doesn’t care what they think, but 26% are undecided.

Kleristocracy and Neoconservatism: Spot the Difference

Kleristocracy is a term, coined by Jon Roland, for the concentration of political power in sortition-based systems, and has been advocated by a number of commentators on this blog. It’s struck me recently that this has a lot in common with the neoconservative worldview that has led to such disastrous outcomes in (for example) Iraq and Libya and I want to use this post to explore the parallels.

Neoconservatives argue that the goal of foreign policy is the liberation of oppressed nations from tyranny – ideally through their own efforts, if not then with a bit of help from the “forces of freedom” – followed by the institution/imposition of democracy, enabling the self-organising powers of “the people” to operate in an unfettered manner. Kleristocrats also argue that “the people” should be liberated from tyranny (of the rich and powerful) and empowered by “real” democracy – the only difference between kleristocrats and neoconservatives being the use of an alternative balloting method.
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