With congressional approval ratings at historic lows, and dissatisfaction with politicians in general at all-time highs, one party must emerge as the assemblage that can fix what has been called a dysfunctional political system.
In the upcoming 2014 midterm elections there are perhaps more defining issues to consider than in midterms of the past. Hot button issues such as the economy, minimum and equal wage controversies, presidential performance thus far, and what appears to be disintegrating global relations, will be strong determinants in the upcoming contests. Although the elections will come down to the individuals and parties who can best navigate the country through this minefield of potentially disastrous national and international complications, the strong lack of faith in politicians in general is leaving many Americans at a loss as to the direction in which their votes should go.
Despite the fact that economic numbers are showing overall improvement, many Americans remain unconvinced that the danger has passed. Although numbers on Wall Street have been running at historic highs, unemployment figures creeping back down, and other economic factors showing a positive direction for the country, recent national polls indicate that Americans are not feeling the optimism that these numbers should generate.
With continued U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the recent outbreak of violence in the Ukraine and unresolved issues in Syria, Russia and North Korea, a war-weary American public is looking for a reduction military involvement in international affairs. Although the president is slowly moving toward a decrease in the number of American troops in the Middle East, flare-ups in other parts of the world are prompting political leaders to hint at potential American involvement in these areas, a prospect that does not sit well with the American people.
Another important factor in the possible outcome of the 2014 midterms is the performance of the President and his party, as well as the Republican Party in recent years. Although strong upon his election in 2008, the president’s numbers have slipped considerately as more and more Americans are unhappy at the speed with which Obama is accomplishing the tasks promised in both the 2008 and 2012 campaigns. With the healthcare issue still unresolved, disappointing economic growth, and a string of foreign policy failures, the president’s low approval ratings may be a drag on his party’s midterm chances.
Conversely, the Republican Party, who enjoy a majority in the House of Representatives only, have been hurt by recent controversies of their own. The Republican-led Voter Registration debacle, the potentially devastating Fiscal Cliff fiasco, which most Americans attributed to the party’s refusal to cooperate on Democratically-led issues, and the failed attempt at re-branding the party to appeal to the average citizen, have manifested themselves in negative, even hostile, opinions of the party as a whole.
All the current, record discord toward American politicians, as well as the dissension within and between the major political parties, begs the question of just who, if anyone, will come out the real winner in this years midterm elections. We are taking some students from Excel Online High School to see the candidates speak.
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