Yesterday, Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discussed the fact that the GOP is rapidly losing its base. In that discussion, it was also mentioned that Democratic voters are increasingly unhappy with their leaders as well, albeit for different reasons. The effects of this on the 2016 elections aside, it has made one thing abundantly clear: the United States government is losing the consent of the governed.  According to a CNN/ORC poll released on July 26th, only 30% of voters believe that their elected leaders in Washington D.C. actually represent the will of the People.

The poll, which is in line with results from the Pew Research Center, also shows how precipitously GOP support has declined among Republican voters. Since the GOP takeover of Congress in January, its favorability rating among its base has dropped by nearly 25%. It is currently at its lowest ebb in over twenty years. When it comes to key issues such as family planning, health care, the environment, education and the economy, Democrats have the upper hand among voters. However, even the Democratic base hasn’t been pleased with the way the government has been doing its job. According to the Pew poll, only about 40% of voters across the board believe the two major parties are doing an adequate job of governing.

The CNN poll continues to show Hillary Clinton with the highest overall favorability ratings among all presidential candidates. However, it also confirms an earlier NBC poll showing Bernie Sanders as the only candidate for whom a greater percentage of voters express approval.

It bears repeating that polls at this stage of the game, no matter how scientific and carefully conducted, cannot predict outcomes. That said, they are useful in highlighting the issues of greatest concern to voters and where they stand on those issues. All of these polls indicate that current leaders of both major parties are indeed losing their mandate to govern. That said, it is worth noting that fastest-growing membership organization in Congress is the Progressive Caucus. Membership has grown by 30% over the past decade, with the number currently standing at 70 – representing 40% of House Democrats. Between this and the rise of Sanders’ popularity, it should be clear to the Democratic Party that if it hopes to keep its mandate to govern, it will have to move in a far more Progressive direction.

The time is coming to clean House – and Senate.

K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.