I have always found it strange that the approval rating for congress is around 10%, when the reelection rate for incumbents is around 95%. The truth of the matter is that we think that Congress is broken, but "our" congressman isn't the problem. Most of those in congress are charming and easy to talk to, and for the most part nobody really follows how they vote, so they've no idea what they "really" stand for, only what their campaign flyers or commercials say. Unfortunately, I suspect that many people don't even know who their congressman is. Of course congressman spend most of their times building relationships and raising money so that they can produce an image that you and I will vote for.
You see this phenomenon at every level of government, not just from congress, from the President of the United States to your local officials. For the most part, people vote for the good ole boy (or girl) who they know from the church or the school, or maybe just the guy who portrays the best image. When in reality they are probably not only not supporting the things that you think they are, but they are probably making mistakes that will have major impacts for year to come. They are probably screwing you over, trampling on your values, and you have no idea. Without being involved, and knowing how someone votes, you're really voting blind. This is due to the fact that politicians at all levels are typically less than honest about themselves during silly (campaign) season. This is one reason I support term limits at all levels of government.
When it boils right down to it, if the public knew more about who they were voting for, they would likely be appalled. A lot of times things are brought up in campaigns to attack the credibility of a candidate or wag the dog as they say. So instead of standing behind what they've done, they over emphasize the mistake of others. Instead of stating what their accomplishments are or what they would like to do, they attack the credibility of their opponent. This strategy is employed, because they’ve done nothing, or at least nothing they’re proud of.
Typically we have the lowest voter turnout of any free country. This turnout is much worse at the local elections that at the state or national elections. Even with that, most of the people who vote, have no idea who they're voting for, they almost always vote for good ole boys. Someone votes in a school board or city council election without having any idea the things the candidates supported in the past. They've likely never been to a meeting, or know what the big issues the entities are dealing with. They vote for who they see on Facebook, if they even know that much about the candidate. Which leads to very little accountability, so the cycle continues. When we continue to elect those who’ve either made no decisions or bad decisions, they we propagate the bad behavior. This will never change, unless we start holding our officials accountable.
On many occasions we have to hold our nose when we go to the polls. Unfortunately, if there is a contested election, you vote against someone, not for someone, and very few good people run for office. I believe in the right to vote and run for public office. However, we the people need to know who we're voting for. Just because someone's your neighbor or their kid plays ball with yours, doesn't mean they will be a good leader, it doesn't mean that they can use sound judgement. So don't vote for someone who's the good ole boy, vote for someone who will make a difference. This country is in a helluva mess because we keep voting for the good ole boys. I encourage everyone to get involved, so let's make an educated vote in the future. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.