Society

Poll: 75 Percent Of Americans Lack Political Influence

| by Jordan Smith
Donald TrumpDonald Trump

A new poll has revealed that three quarters of the American population believe that they lack political influence in Washington.

The survey, carried out by The Associated Press and NORC between June 8 and 11 among 1,068 people, found similar results across all demographics.

Political identification also did not alter the results, with supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump agreeing that they lacked influence.

"They don't care about people like me," Linda Bell, a Texas beekeeper, told the AP.

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Respondents stated that workers, poor people, and small businesses do not have sufficient power in Washington, while the rich, big business, and lobbyists have too much.

During his presidential campaign, Trump took up the issue of the alienation of broad sections of the population from Washington.

"Either we win this election or we lose this country," Trump said in October 2016 as he unveiled plans he argued would restrict the control of lobbyists in Washington, according to USA Today.

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"We have to give new voices a chance, so we can have a government that works again and can function properly," he added.

Almost six months into Trump's presidency, some of those who spoke to the AP are not convinced he is living up to his promises.

"He said he was going to restore the middle class, and I thought he would pick really good people who would do that. But the people he picked seem to be not in touch with the middle class," said James Pavelka, referring to Trump's cabinet picks.

Other politicians have raised the issues of inequality and the lack of political influence for the majority of the population, including Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, according to Salon:

We have a system which during the 1990s allowed Wall Street to spend $5 billion in lobbying and campaign contributions to get deregulated. Then, ten years later, after the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior of Wall Street led to their collapse, it is a system which provided trillions in government aid to bail them out. Wall Street used their wealth and power to get Congress to do their bidding for deregulation and then, when their greed caused their collapse, they used their wealth and power to get Congress to bail them out.

The AP poll shows that it is not just the presidency which lacks widespread strong support. It found that 6 percent of respondents have a great deal of confidence in Congress, compared to 14 percent who said they have a great deal of confidence in the executive branch.

"There are times when I'm watching them and thinking, 'I just don't know who you're speaking for,'" Jennifer McDonald told the AP, referring to Republicans in Congress. "All they do is stand there and argue and I think, 'My God, would you please realize what you have here: You have control of both houses. Get it done'."

Sources: AP via Miami Herald, USA Today, Salon / Photo credit: The White House/Flickr, Tony Webster/Flickr, Richard Lopez/Flickr

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