Politically Active, Politically Aware, Dissatisfied with Political Process

Readers are politically active and politically aware and fairly evenly divided between the major parties. But dissatisfaction with the tone and the length of the campaigns comes through loud and clear.

Based on the results of a recent poll, FedSmith readers are politically active but have a high degree of cynicism about our elected leaders.

The political affiliation of those responding to the recent poll was closely split between Republicans and Democrats (with a high percentage of self-proclaimed independent voters).

Here is a quick summary of the poll results.

Did you vote in the last Congressional election?

yes: 95%

no: 4%

not sure: 1%

Did you vote in the last Presidential election?

yes: 98%

no: 2%

Do you plan to vote in next year’s election for Congress and the President?

yes: 98%

no: 1%

not sure: 1%

What is your political affiliation, if any?

Democrat: 35%

Republican: 33%

Independent: 25%

Libertarian: 2%

Other: 5%

Have you watched recent political debates among presidential candidates?

yes: 45%

no: 55%

In written comments, readers undoubtedly reflect the opinion of many Americans that the campaigns for president are too long and too negative.

Here is a sample of the typical comments from readers.

An employee from the Bureau of Land Management in Durango, CO wrote: "Already the candidates are slinging mud, yikes, I don’t know if I can stand another year plus of all this. We ought to do what Canada does, only let the candidates debate on tv for one month before the election, it sure would cut down on the finger pointing and name calling and focus more on what that particular candidate intends to do once they have been elected. I also think they are spending way too much of our money on elections."

A retired federal employee from the Department of Commerce in Frederick, MD expressed dismay: "I am dismayed at the low level of political discourse between the parties and among the candidates. We have serious issues that need to be addressed and this Congress is only interested in playing "Gotcha!" with the Administration. The country cannot long survive this nonsense with the invasion from the South and the Terrorists bent on a Holy War leading to our absolute destruction."

A revenue officer from the IRS in Sacramento, CA: "Involvement in politics and the election of public officials is a right that has been hard fought for and costly. it is, in my humble viewpoint, an obligation and responsibility of every citizen to utilize this right responsibly. It is truly a "use it or lose it" proposition."

A scientist from the Bureau of Land Management in Salt Lake City is already tired of the debates: "The presidential debates are being held way to early. We don’t need to be subjected to all the mind numbing of the debates just after the last election. 1 year prior to an election is more than enough of time to get your message out."

A Department of Interior employee from Amarillo, TX has a more cynical view: "I see no reason to watch the debates. They are just a forum for political posturing and false promises to the voters of this country."

An IRS revenue officer from King of Prussia, PA says: "Watching the debates is worthless. The two major party nominees will be decided by super Tuesday. Since I have no say in that, there is no point in watching. My state’s primary is long after."

A supervisory auditor from DCAA in Los Angeles commented: "I’ve been a regular voter for 35 years but it seems that our votes mean less and less as those we elect are held less and less accountable. From a do-nothing Congress to Presidents who only take care of big money and big business, it seems the primary importance of our individual votes is that "we voted," not that it had any effect in determining the direction or policy of our States or Nation."

An electronics technician from the FAA in Kansas City, MO has watched some of the debates but does not like what he sees: "The Democrats are playing to the left wing of the party in the debates. The more moderate Democrats & Independents that view the debates, the more votes they will lose in 2008."

A manager with the VA in Syracuse, NY is also not happy with our political process: "The political process is bankrupt. Congress is filled with liars and cheats looking to line their own pockets. The political process has degenerated into winning or losing for the party not doing what’s right for the country. We need to start over."

A procurement technician from DCMA in Maryland already has burn-out: "Soon changing my political affiliation to Independent or Libertarian to more closely represent my true feelings. I’m not watching debates right now; not really happy with any of the candidates of either party. Will show more interest next year as things get closer and heat up more. Got burn-out already!"

Thanks to all readers who took the time to submit their opinions to this recent survey.