Voting in Mid-term Elections: The Importance of the Congressional Vote
Previously published on May 21, 2010
The 2008 election is viewed to be an important election as the policies of the George W. Bush Administration had left the Nation in a poor state while the 2010 midterm election is just as significant to Republicans and members of Tea Party movement looking to push the Nation toward more Conservative policies. Of course, we must remember all elections and national leaders are just as important due to the power of their vote. After all, Presidents and all other leaders cannot be great unless they experience a major crisis, yet only become failures when they fail to react to a crisis. Although our Congressional leaders are often overshadowed by the successes, and failures, of the President while the consequences of their individual policy decisions are mitigated en masse, they create the law of the land, so they are extremely powerful representatives. As such, their votes to enact our interests and our votes to put them in power are extremely important.
The United States of America is ruled by the People through a governing body consisting of three coequal branches, each capable of balancing the power of the other two. Congress consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Within the Executive Branch, the President has the power to dictate policy and to be the "decider," but the sum of the House and the Senate equals the President with not one single Congressmen or Senator subjugated to the direction of the Executive Branch. The Supreme Court, along with the lower courts, reviews legislation through lawsuits to root out inconsistencies in the legislation and ensure the government fairly and equally applies the Law to all citizens. Whether looking at State or Federal government, all legislators have a particular responsibility in representing the people through their votes, though they represent the views of a specific district. Of course, each house contributes to the representation of the People in a different manner.
The Senate is composed of two senators from each state, thus equal representation for all states exists with the opportunity to represent the majority and the major minority views of the State. This provides for fair representation of the needs and interests of all regions across the Nation. If the Senate did not exist, those living in sparsely populated areas would likely see their needs and interests overlooked. Imagine if legislators failed to recognize the need to support the agricultural infrastructure of the Country. If the Nation only focused on cities because the majority of Congressmen come from urban districts, the Nation may not have much of a farming community. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives exists to provide equal representation for every citizen, thus ensuring each individual has the capacity to be heard while it empowers minority communities that would otherwise be lost within the majority. The responsibility of the House is to provide a consistently current representation of the views, concerns, and interests of the majority within a district. Because they only hold onto power for two years, Congressmen consistently must be up to date on their districts' views.
Above all, the responsibility of Congressmen and Senators is to represent the beliefs, interests, and needs of the citizens from their districts as members of the legislative body. On the other hand, with the existence earmarks and other pork barrel projects, the idea of representation is slightly skewed. The responsibility of all Senators and Congressmen is not to bring home the bacon, but rather, to bring the perspectives of their constituents to the government so the people of the Nation can directly decide how their government should function. Unfortunately, "the early bird gets the worm," thus legislators have far too often acted to secure funds for their districts, and thus, the votes of their constituents. Accordingly, the only means of restoring the true need for our representatives is to enact laws, which limit bad behavior, but this must be accomplished through the constant push of voters as our legislators will resist.
As the next election approaches, we must remember the President is not the only leader in Washington; he is simply the one which represents the entire Nation. It is our Senators and Congressmen who personally represent our beliefs and how we desire our Nation and States to be run. Where the President is elected to represent all Americans and their interests in the many tasks that have fallen onto the Executive Branch, legislators exist to represent those within their districts. When a piece of legislation is created, it is suppose to reflect the values and interests of all Americans, which is one of the reasons the President holds the veto power, though sometimes this truth can be quite indirect and only support fundamental American beliefs. Even if Americans use the write-in option to abstain out of protest, all US citizens must take part in their government. Those appointed to Congress use their votes to decide how our Nation is run, but we use our votes to decide who represents us, so every election and vote for Congress is important.