Column: Recent polls show communism more popular than Congress

By Zach Davis

The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State U. via UWIRE

There are very few people who would argue America is a huge fan of communism.

After half a century of political tension and some propaganda, it isn’t too surprising. Communists were, after all, the source of fear regarding nuclear war.

Whether or not it was truly communism doesn’t make a difference — the damage has been done to the American psyche. This is obvious when you hear those on the right of the political aisle decrying some of the left’s actions because they’re “communist.”

Their definition of communism is off. The intent is to merely connect it with something most Americans despise.

Thus, it’s surprising to find there’s something Americans like even less than communism: Congress.

According to a recent Gallup poll, Congress’ approval rating is sitting at only 13 percent, continuing a historic low point in popularity. As a result of such a low popularity, some have taken it upon themselves to compare this to the popularity of other subjects.

One such person is Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who created a chart to help explain just how low these numbers are. Although Gallup puts Congress’ popularity at 13 percent, Bennet uses a recent New York Times/CBS poll which found it to be even lower at 9 percent.

As previously mentioned, one of the subjects was communism – specifically America becoming communist. According to a Rasmussen poll performed this year, 11 percent of people polled were OK with the idea of America going communist.

If that doesn’t cause a surprise, some of the other numbers should help. After the oil spill in the Gulf, BP stood at 16 percent. Nixon held 24 percent during Watergate, and banks were still hovering 23 percent as of this year, all according to Gallup polls.

Clearly, Congress isn’t very popular right now.

One last figure that some people like to bring up to help hammer this point home is the popularity of King George during the Revolutionary War. With an estimated 15 to 20 percent of those in the colonies being loyalists, he fares much better than Congress does today.

While these are numbers Congress should heed, they are not things to which we should lend much weight. Polls may be good indicators, but polling in itself simply isn’t accurate all the time.

Take, for example, some of the polling which takes place before and after actual voting. Many times there have been surprises and disappointments when a candidate fails to do as well as the polling predicted them to. It shouldn’t be surprising.

Everyone lies at some point in time. Big or small, it’s simply a part of human nature, and is not always done maliciously. When being asked about political opinions, or other controversial topics, most people may not tell how they truly feel.

Our political beliefs are often personal things, and there are some who would go with much safer opinions to fit in with the norm. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it’s simply one of the reasons why polls must be taken with a grain of salt.

If nothing else, people can always change their mind between the poll and the vote.

At the end of the day, it’s hard to believe these polls are accurate. While Congress may be inefficient and correctly unpopular, it’s unreasonable to think more Americans agree with a turn toward communism.

Despite some people saying they dislike Congress just because it’s a popular viewpoint, the low numbers seem far more likely an indication of faulty polling.

In the end, however, Congress certainly needs to pay attention to these numbers. While they may be drastic, Congress should be aiming to at least be popular with a quarter of the country.

Twenty-five percent isn’t asking much. If Nixon and the banks can pull it off, surely this Congress should be able to as well.

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