Voters Prefer Choices Over Policy

Monday, 06 May 2013 11:34 AM

By Scott Rasmussen

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
There are many ways to describe the enormous gap between the American people and their elected politicians.  
 
Most in official Washington tend to think that their elite community is smarter and better than the rest of us. Many hold a condescending view of voters and suggest that the general public is too ignorant to be treated seriously.
 
Only 5 percent of the nation's voters, however, believe that Congress and its staff members represent the nation's best and brightest.
 
Gavin Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco and now California's Democratic lieutenant governor, recognized the disconnect and wrote a book on it, "Citizenville." Unlike most politicians, Newsom doesn't just blame the voters.
 
"It wasn't just that people weren't engaging with their government," he writes. "Elected officials weren't bothering to engage with the people, either — that is, of course, until election time."
 
However, Newsom adds, "We have to disenthrall ourselves, as Abraham Lincoln used to say, of the notion that politicians and government institutions will solve our problems."
 
The data suggests that the American people have already gotten over that notion. In terms of being a good citizen, 67 percent of voters believe it is more important to do volunteer work for church and community organizations than it is to get involved in politics and political campaigns. Only 16 percent disagree and put political involvement first.
 
That is perhaps the biggest gap between the American people and the Political Class. Those in politics take the self-serving view that they are uniquely qualified to solve the nation's problems. Those in the general public have a much firmer grasp on reality.
 
Most recognize that we're better off when individuals make the decisions that affect their own lives. A one-size-fits-all solution will never work in a nation as diverse and vibrant as the United States.
 
This can be seen on an issue like Social Security. Voters strongly reject congressional tampering with the promise made by the government to American workers. But two-out-of-three believe individuals should have the right to select their own Social Security retirement age. Those who want to retire earlier could pay more in taxes. Those who want to retire later would pay less.
 
On healthcare issues, three out of four voters believe everyone should have a choice between more expensive insurance policies that cover just about everything and less expensive plans that cover only major medical expenses. They don't want government, insurance companies, or their employer making medical care decisions on their behalf. Americans want the power to make their own choices.
 
We see the same desire for choice in education. Seventy-four percent of voters think parents should have a choice of whether to send their children to schools that allow prayer and those that don't. Sixty-eight percent believe parents should have the choice between a traditional school calendar and one that has classes 12 months a year.
 
It's important to note that a solid majority favors giving parents a choice about year-round schools, even though most oppose the concept. It's about choice, not policy.
 
Americans recognize that they have more power acting as consumers than they do when acting as voters. That's why they want choice. Politicians prefer a top-down approach where they write the rules. That's the source of the disconnect.
 
Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of Rasmussen Reports. He is the author of “Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System,” “In Search of Self-Governance,” and “The People’s Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt.” Read more reports from Scott Rasmussen — Click Here Now.
 



 
 
 

© Creators Syndicate Inc.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Ability to Walk Away Empowers Employees

Friday, 26 Sep 2014 14:23 PM

Politicians like to talk about empowering the middle class or other segments of the voting population, but they're typic . . .

Tech Is King in Education

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 10:37 AM

Tech-inspired innovation also gives parents a greater voice in what their children learn and how they do it. . . .

Obamacare a Gift to GOP for 2016

Friday, 12 Sep 2014 10:37 AM

President Obama's healthcare law is the gift that keeps on giving to the GOP. . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved