Sunday, October 30, 2016

We Should be Alarmed at How Money buys Influence

   It has been said, you can buy anything in this world with money. I do wonder, then: Is it wrong to consider how money buys things in politics?
   Money buys influence? No secret, no surprise? You've already considered this, and are not interested in the topic at the moment?
   If there is no sense of urgency, nothing will get done. Those who are not alarmed will not sound the alarm, nor answer to it. They won't answer the bell, so to speak.
   So, please bring yourself to being alarmed. Think: This is America, greatest nation on earth, and we cannot let our political needs be given to the highest bidder. If that word, "cannot," catches in your craw, perhaps it is because you are ahead of me. You already know we allow money to determine elections and policies. We have this thing called the lobbyist, and sometimes it almost seem it is a problem unique to us, and us, alone.
   It isn't. But, sufficient to say our lobbyists, we hear about, and those in China, we don't.
   Cannot let our political needs be given to the highest bidder? If we do let our needs be sold to the highest bidder, and if we do not do something about that fact, that shows our alarm level is not high enough correct the problem.
   Legislation should not be a matter of people with means sweeping into our doors and getting what they want. Legislation should not be a matter of money. It should not be a matter of, "I contributed $1,000 to your campaign, so please at least listen to my request." It should not be a matter of, "I'll take out a full-page ad in the Washington Post to argue our position."
   One way to curb the influence of lobbyists would be let the public into the meetings Congress members have with lobbyists. Invite the public to participate in the discussions with lobbyists. One way to curb the influence of paid advertising on the issues would be to invite responses. Ask the opponents not to buy their response, but give write free guest editorials. And, don't always pick "authorities" to write the responses. If the common man can make the argument, let the person with little credentials write the response. Maybe even hold a contest, inviting all to write arguments against the paid ad, and printing the best one or two.
  Money buys influence. Money, it sometimes seems, can buy anything in the world. I would that we could see the urgency of doing something about this. I would that the average Joe had as much influence in our political system as do the "esteemed" members of our society.

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