Congress' approval ratings are near record lows, with just 12 percent of Americans saying the House and the Senate are doing a good job, according to a mid-December Gallup poll. But the chance that an individual House representative will be re-elected every two years is well more than 90 percent. How does this happen? Yahoo News asked voters to compare and contrast their representative with Congress as a whole and to indicate why they like, or dislike, one over the other. Here's one perspective.
COMMENTARY | H. Morgan Griffith is my U.S. congressman and represents the ninth district of Virginia. I haven't always liked him, simply because he was a Republican. In fact, when Griffith first ran against Rick Boucher, a Democrat who served 13 consecutive terms and was a much loved political figure in the area, I was determined to do everything that I could to defeat him.
I had been a lifelong Democrat up to that point, born into a family of Democrats. I had enthusiastically posted Obama/Biden signs in my yard during the 2008 elections, after Boucher endorsed that ticket. By the 2010 elections, I had started to question some of Obama's policies and actions, but I still voted for Boucher.
Over time, I've found myself increasingly discontent with many of policies of the Democratic Party and President Obama. I have found that in spite of myself, over time, my views and opinions have changed to increasingly match Griffith's. By the 2012 elections, I became an enthusiastic supporter of Morgan Griffith, and posted his campaign signs in my yard.
I think Griffith has a common-sense, balanced approach to issues such as the need for America to become energy dependent by using all of our natural resources and his commitment to agriculture and area farmers. I also like his support of the Constitution, and, as a hunter, I particularly agree with his declaration of support of our 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. I support his stance to rein in the unconstitutional powers of the NSA and the government's unlawful spying and wiretapping of its citizens. I support his stance to reduce waste in military spending, and the fact that he wanted the military to be paid during the shutdown.
I don't always agree with Griffith, however. I would like to see immigration reform that allows those without criminal records that want to come to our country and become productive, patriotic citizens to be able to do so. I believe that many who are called illegal have this status because of our flawed immigration process that must be reformed. While I don't agree with his stance on immigration, I do agree with him on most other issues.
I am 45, and I live in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia, near Roanoke. Maybe I've grown more conservative over the years, or maybe I've realized that both freedom and prosperity are tied together, and that both flourish best where government control and over-reach is limited.
I can't support the Democrats that continue to blindly support the President and uphold him in his lies over the Affordable Care Act, the abuse of powers by the NSA and their power hungry attempt to limit our 2nd Amendment rights.
To me, the issue with the current Congress is that the Democrats seem determined to grow the power and size of the Federal Government and its ability to intrude on the personal life and privacy of its citizens and it is only the Republicans who are trying to stem the tide of the constant assault and erosion of our freedoms.
To me, the problem with Congress is that we need a change in power, and I can only hope that Americans will remember that the President and Democrats have lied to us about getting to keep our doctors and our plan, as well as all of the other lies, and then vote accordingly.
- Politics & Government
- Morgan Griffith
- Rick Boucher
- President Obama