Politicians have prostituted themselves to remain in power. They (and we) might want to think that the payments are merely donations, given from the goodness of their corporate hearts*. A corporation (or individual) has millions and millions of dollars just sitting around doing nothing. Not paying a mortgage, not buying food, not paying the utilities to keep the lights and heat on, not buying school clothes for the kids or putting gas in the car in case we have a job and need to get to work, no, those millions and millions of bucks are just sitting there making baby millions of bucks. For writing simplicity, I’m going to call the Corporation/Individual entity “SHI” (that’s for “she,” “he,” “it”)**, it’s just easier for me to write and for you to read (as long as you know what I mean!).
When a citizen (member of the 99%) donates to a political candidate it is usually a small amount, <$50***, so if it is noticed at all they just get a smile and a nod and are quickly forgotten.
SHI on the other hand can afford to give big bucks to a campaign (remember those millions and millions of bucks?) and can now do so anonymously so no one knows who SHI is (“This political message has been brought to you by the U.S. Supreme Court and Friends”). It is the donations with lots of decimal points, not just the one or two that most of us can give, BIG bucks that politicians and their handlers notice and remember. When a politician gets a donation with, say, 5 or 6 decimal points (examples: $10,000-$900,000), I’ll just bet there’s an “oooohh, goody!” moment. Then they’ll say something like “Oh how sweet,” “It’s lovely!” “Just what I wanted,” “You didn’t need to”, and on and on (you know what I mean).
The point is: the politician remembers that donation. The little ones from the rest of us? Well, I think you can figure out what they think of those.
That’s why a corporation donates to a politician. SHI can can send a Christmas card just to say Remember me? It’s very simple, most of us are aware that this has been going on for a very long time. We, citizens of what we consider to be the greatest country in the world****, are soon forgotten. Whenever someone in congress (or the President) gets a crazy idea to do something for the citizens or for the good of the country as a whole (silly idea, I know) SHI can just call up or send a sweet note to friend politician — remember me? They’re trying to____ (enter whatever word you think is appropriate — e.g. regulate, stop, restrict, etc.) me; honey,I don’t like that; I won’t be able to give you any more if you don’t stop Them.
Now SHI has refined the process to where it doesn’t even have to cost a donation! They can simply threaten to withhold or, horrid thought, give it to the political opponent! Now SHI gets the goodies for free!
I may be writing tongue-in-cheek, but this is serious. I am serious. Occupy Wall Street is serious. This is OUR problem. Our politicians do not have the will to stop prostituting the themselves and our government. Therefore, as long as they live in our house, they abide by our rules. We must lock the doors and not let them out at night (so to speak). Anyone have any ideas on how to do this?
My ideas: We might have a chance at cleaning things up (i.e. vote incumbents out) if we vote for candidates who will write new laws:
- campaign finance laws that restrict corporate giving
- term limits for ALL (say, 12 years max. combined Senate, House, President).
* What? SHI has a heart? Then Corporations ARE people, my friend!
** aka the Whore(s) of Babylon — actually I think this descriptor fits both sides of this shady relationship.
*** Why so small? Because it has to be what’s left over after we pay for everything in para. 1.
**** Ever wonder what people in those other countries say about where they live? (I’m so proud to live in the second greatest country in the world.) — yes, I’m borrowing this from Stephen Colbert….