With November 8th less than a month and a half away, I find it important to discuss the Congressional Elections, which is something the mainstream media has given little to no attention. Since it’s in mainstream media’s interest to keep the public unenlightened on the affairs of lobbyists, they choose not to cover Congressional Elections.
This is due to the fear that the public will be more likely to know which representatives and senators are acting in the public’s best interest. While the presidency is a position of high significance, the general public believes that the presidency holds a lot more power than it actually does. The president has the power to sign/veto bills, propose bills, and sway public opinion on legislation. While the president can veto pieces of legislation, with a 2⁄3 majority in both the house and senate, Congress can overturn the president’s veto.
We often see presidential candidates making promises for grand changes regarding legislation. For example, Hillary Clinton wants to raise the minimum wage. While she can support this idea, she cannot independently make it happen. Though she could raise the minimum wage for federal employees, Clinton would need the approval of Congress to raise the federal minimum wage. Considering that both the House and Senate are heavily controlled by lobbyists on both sides of the aisle, it is highly improbable that the federal minimum wage will be raised in the current Congress.
This brings me to the main point of my argument. The corrupt present state of Congress is the reason why the public’s opinion has little to no influence on legislation. Lobbyists who get into office off of false promises act only in the interests of corporations. While the media focuses on Hillary Clinton’s walking pneumonia and the reality show that is Donald Trump, lobbyists, and their campaigns are on cruise control knowing that voters will simply vote along party lines without a second thought.
To even begin repairing this issue, we as millennials need to vote in larger numbers for politicians who actually represent the people. In the 2012 presidential election, only 46% of millennials eligible to vote bothered to show up to the poles. If the recent presidential primaries are any indication, our demographic has made little to no improvements on turnout. Our generation ties the baby boomers in overall voting power with 31% of the total electorate. So many of us complain about how corrupt our government is yet less than half of us care enough to vote. Vote or not, we all have the right to voice our disdain for the current state of our government. However, unless our turnout improves we will be bitching moaning about the exact same problems for years to come.