This won’t come as a surprise to many of you, but unless you are an bankster or a billionaire, you’re not being represented in the United States Senate. According to a new study published in Political Research Quarterly, Senators in the last five Congresses have consistently voted to benefit their wealthy constituents. And, those votes virtually ignored the political will of everyone except those at the top.
The study’s author, Thomas J. Hayes, wrote, “The fact that lower income groups seem to be ignored by elected officials, although not a new finding, remains a troubling observation in American politics.” Mr. Hayes used data from the National Annenberg Election Survey to compare the political opinions of constituents to the voting records of their senators in the last five Congresses, and discovered what he called “oligarchic tendencies” in the American [political] system.
During two of the Congresses, when Democrats were in charge, Hayes found that Senators did vote in accordance with middle-class constituents. But even then, the political will of low-income voters was virtually ignored. During Republican-controlled congresses, only the political opinions of the wealthy were represented.
Of course, there are a few Senators that constantly work to give low-income and middle class voters a voice in Congress, but the vast majority of our lawmakers ignore those of us who can’t contribute huge sums to their campaigns. We’ve known it for some time, but now we have hard evidence to show how important it is to get money out of politics. If we ever want to be represented by our elected leaders, let’s overturn Citizens United and return the power to the public masses – where it belongs.