Just as we saw in 2011, polls are showing that nearly 85% of the citizens do not approve of the performance of the 113th congress. 57% of the July 24th NBC poll respondents said they would replace every member of congress “if that were possible”. Not only is it possible to replace members of congress, it is what is prescribed in the Constitution. The only major problem is the fact that Americans vote less in congressional elections than any other type of elections held anywhere in America. The constitution does not tell us to directly elect the president, but it does ask citizens to pick their representatives in order to have a functional form of representative government. We do the opposite. 55-62% of Americans will come out and vote in Presidential elections.
Most Americans do not realize that according to Article 1, Section 2 of the constitution, they could replace every single member of congress every two years. That is why Madison and Jefferson agreed to make Article 1, Section 2 so important. However, for some reason, we have everything backwards. If you factor in the low turnout in important congressional primary elections, at least 80% of the citizens are not at all involved in picking the members of congress from the 435 districts around the country. We come out and vote in presidential elections, but we do not really vote in the only direct elections called for in the constitution. The figures below help illustrate the results that occur when citizens are doing the complete opposite of what the constitution tell them to do.
2008 presidential elections
213 million eligible to vote. 132 million votes cast: 69.5 million Democrat/59 million Republican
Percentage of eligible citizens who elected the president: 33%
Average presidential approval ratings after the election: 45-50%
2010 Congressional elections
218 million eligible to vote. 90 million total votes cast: 45 million Republican/44 million Democrat
Percentage of eligible citizens who elected the Congress: 20%
Average congressional approval ratings after the election: 12-15%