Shocking: Most of America Hates Politicians

by Frank Heleniak

Widener University American Government Student

Well it’s about to be October, and if you watch any type of TV, chances are you’re dreading every commercial break. Ah yes, the wonderful TV political campaign in which every candidate on the ballot is horrible choice (at least by their opponent’s standards) or has some time of skeleton in the closet. Yeah chances are you’re like 71% of all Americans who have negative thoughts of Politicians. Even if it’s just from interrupting your regular programming.

Of course there’s much more to it. People just aren’t happy in general, and they don’t trust politicians. Why? Well personal opinion is pure rhetoric in both campaigns (the local elections aren’t left out thought). There isn’t enough “doing,” just a lot of talk. Four years ago I listened to the President preach “Hope” and “Change.” Has there been hope? Surely. Change? Definitely I pay almost three times as much now to fill up my truck. I know what you’re thinking. I’ll nip it in the bud and say Bush wasn’t a saint either.

Blue or red, you’re going to stand up for your party, probably blindly. However if you’re more of a purple, you probably find a lot of fault in both candidates. So what are the Dems and GOP going to do about it? Probably nothing, but what happens when it boils over, and the general non-politically bound public stops voting for anyone because they honestly feel either candidate will do the same things? Maybe there will no longer be parties, and politicians will be labeled with a black spot.


Are Americans Better or Worse Off Than 4 Years Ago?

By Nicole Crossey, Widener University Student

As Americans are we better off, worse off or neither than we were 4 years ago?

In Landler’s “‘Are You Better Off?’ The Answer Is Less Clear than It Was in 1980” and Rutenberg’s “Democrats say that U.S. is Better Off than Four Years ago”, a mix of good and bad appears and makes that question hard to answer. Democrats say we are better off and Republicans say we are worse off.

The Democrats use the “auto bailout, Osama Bin Laden, supporting gay marriage, ending don’t ask, don’t tell, easing the threat of deportation to illegal immigrants, and the healthcare overhaul” as points of progress in these past 4 years.

The Republicans say that we are worse off—“federal debt is ballooning”, the unemployment rate is still bad and housing rates are not better. “47% of Americans think we are worse off” since Obama has entered office.

For some, our recovery is too slow. Jobs have been added to the economy, but government spending cuts have slowed this growth. While Obama has racked up $5 Trillion in national debt, we are still recovering from the Bush Administration (tax cuts, debt, Medicare prescription drug coverage, and wars).

Ultimately, I think voters will give Obama more time in office because he has put us on a path of “sustainable recovery” and he kept us from falling into a “double-dip recession”. However, Romney did throw Obama for a loop on this question—perhaps we will see more like this.

Looking at the state of our nation statistically, we are worse off. In the context that we are recovering from one of the worst recessions in history, we are better off. Therefore, it depends whether the “glass is half empty or half full” to voters.

One Nation Under God Divided By Religion

by Mary Rohweder

Widener University Political Science Major

Throughout American history, politicians have struggled to govern under the establishment cause – separating religion from government – while facing controversial religious issues that become involved with the world of politics. Recently two religious issues have been brought to America’s attention – the overturn of Proposition 8 in California and the controversy with contraception for employees of Catholic institutions. These issues have made media headlines, but I believe it is important to research the stances of the President and Presidential candidates.

In response to the overturn of Proposition 8, which formerly outlawed gay marriage in the state of California, Republican candidates have expressed their disdain and exuded support for the protection of traditional marriage while President Obama has not taken a declarative stance. Mitt Romney released a statement supporting states’ rights to ban gay marriage and for citizens to preserve and protect traditional marriage. He stated that the overturn “underscores the vital importance of this election and the movement to preserve our values. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.” Newt Gingrich commented that this action was a “radical overreach of federal judges and their continued assault on the Judeo-Christian foundations of the United States.” Rick Santorum declared, ” For a court, any court, to usurp the power and will of the people in this manner on an issue this fundamental to the foundation of our society is wrong.” President Obama has also been opposed to same sex marriage and states that his views on the issue are “evolving.” However, the Obama administration has taken action on behalf of furthering gay rights by removing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the military.

The contraceptive argument is firmly divided between women’s rights and people’s freedoms. The President has taken a stance on behalf of women’s rights, whereas the Republicans claim freedom of speech and religion. The Obama administration has made a commitment to ensure all women will have access to contraception coverage. President Obama initially proposed that Catholic institutions would be required to provide female employees with contraception, but recently compromised. According to the new compromise, Catholic institutions will not be forced to offer contraception to their employees; instead, insurers must offer full coverage to any women who work at such institutions. Santorum took the most oppositional stance, declaring, “It’s not about contraception….[I]t’s about freedom of speech; it’s about freedom of religion. It’s about government control of your lives and it’s got to stop.”

Overall, Republican candidates have expressed very conservative positions on religion, choosing either to preserve the traditional beliefs of the Church or to call for the protection of citizen rights. President Obama has taken action on certain issues but has compromised, such as not endorsing same-sex marriage and compromising on the contraceptive issue. The culture war of religion has been creating great tension in the Presidential candidates, especially since voters are all watching.