April 15, 2024

Huge Majority of Americans Do Not Believe Federal Government Has The “Consent of the Governed”

Rasmussen Reports, one of the most respected and accurate polling organizations in the country, now provides proof of what many of us have long known – the vast majority of Americans do not believe that the federal government has the consent of the governed.

The notion that governments derive their only just authority from the consent of the governed is a foundational principle of the American experiment.

However, a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 23% of voters nationwide believe the federal government today has the consent of the governed. Sixty-two percent (62%) say it does not, and 15% are not sure.

In his new book, In Search of Self-Governance, Scott Rasmussen observes that the American people are “united in the belief that our political system is broken, that politicians are corrupt and that neither major political party has the answers.” He adds that “the gap between Americans who want to govern themselves and the politicians who want to rule over them may be as big today as the gap between the colonies and England during the 18th century.”

The book earned positive reviews from Larry Sabato, Pat Caddell, Bill Kristol, Joe Trippi and others. In Search of Self-Governance is available from Rasmussen Reports and at Amazon.com.

The growing disconnect between mainstream America and the ruling political elite has been discussed on this site numerous times and now we have the polling numbers to prove it.  Despite the polls, Washington carries on with business as usual, apparently oblivious to the concerns, beliefs and values of their constituents.  Additional polls reinforce the basic disconnect between mainstream voters and the ruling elite.

Data released yesterday finds that 68% of voters believe the Political Class doesn’t care what most Americans think.

Over the past couple of years, most Americans have opposed many initiatives of the Political Class including the bailouts of the financial and auto industries. Additionally, most voters still favor repeal of the national health care plan and overwhelmingly disagree with the Justice Department’s decision to challenge Arizona’s new immigration law in court.

Fifty-five percent (55%) don’t even think most members of Congress pay all the taxes they owe.

Voters are evenly divided over the notion that a group of people randomly selected from the phone book could do a better job than the current Congress.

One reason for skepticism about the Political Class is that 70% believe Big Government and Big Business are on the same team working together against the rest of us.

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Scott Rasmussen, founder of Rasmussen Reports further expounded on the serious rift between the governed and the ruling elite.

“Americans don’t want to be governed from the left or the right,” Scott Rasmussen tells the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conference of 1,500 conservative and moderate legislators. “They want, like the Founding Fathers, to largely govern themselves with Washington in a supporting—but not dominant—role. The tea party movement is today’s updated expression of that sentiment.”

A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents all agree with the mainstream view on Mr. Rasmussen’s three questions. “The major division in this country is no longer between parties but between political elites and the people,” Mr. Rasmussen says. His recent polls show huge gaps between the two groups. While 67% of the political class believes the U.S. is moving in the right direction, a full 84% of mainstream voters believe the nation is moving in the wrong one.

The fact that 67% of the ruling political elite believe we are moving in the right direction despite the totally opposite belief by those they rule over should be a cause of great concern regarding the future political stability of the country.  The ruling elite will continue to enforce their “enlightened view” upon an unwilling populace until they are voted out of office.  Since Democrats and Republicans both seem to be largely woven out of the same cloth, the question of whether any fundamental change will occur remains open.

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