Why Obama, McCain and You Should Care that Middle-Class Americans have no Idea what Congress is up to
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Is all of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate up for election in November? In the midst of all of the talk of vice presidential choices, Paris Hilton and who is the real celebrity, and how much was raised this quarter by the DNC and RNC, I almost forgot.
Well, I didn't forget. I can't forget. But things are seriously amiss when it comes to the attention paid to The Other Election day happening on November 4 - and, frankly, on how much people know or follow Congress at all. When 72% of middle-class Americans can't name a single bill passed by Congress in the last two years that benefited them or their families, we have a problem on our hands.
Now I'm not expecting people to have encyclopedic knowledge of the voting records of their representatives, but in a time in which the minimum wage was increased and college made more affordable and a stimulus package passed, that percentage speaks to a profound disconnect between people and their policymakers that festers in a culture in which reporting on Congress is confused with political horseracing.
Andrea Batista Schlesinger is the Executive Director of the Drum Major Institute.