Temp hold – 2nd Am Revolution ~ Aside following Ch 2 ~ lobbyists & the Money Coup

January 2, 2018

Aside ~ Back-to-the-Future ~ OK to Skip:

Interjection: Madison’s concern in 1787 about the anti-democratic effect of majority factions only involved the number of people in a faction, while Madison and the other Founding Fathers paid little or no attention to the nature of the people in these special interest groups.

DC Lobbyist wandering the hall of Congress

However, the harm feared by our Founder can also arise from factions may be a statistical minority, but because they are fueled by those with inordinate wealth, political connections or great fame, these numerically smaller factions/special interest groups have a hugely disproportionate influence, one that creates the same undemocratic havoc as the numerical supermajority our Founding Fathers feared and worked so hard to prevent.

They were extraordinarily successful at preventing ‘mob rule’ by locking the front door to Washington, DC, thus blocking access by ordinary citizens. Unfortunately for us, the Founders left the back door, cellar door, all sides doors and windows wide open for the uber-wealthy and politically powerful. As a result, this tiny minority of 1/10th of a percent of our population gets unimpeded access that allows them to have then unfettered and unfair influence over the workings of the federal government.

In the two-plus centuries since our Constitution was written, we can clearly see that the abusive use of political power by the uber wealthy and/or politically influential individuals have always been able to interject their unmitigated power into our democratic system.

While they represent only 0.1% of the population, entrenched political, hereditary or moneyed groups exert extraordinary and disproportionate by order-of-magnitude influence over the daily working of federal government. This is often more effective at tipping the scales away from the fair and free exercise of democratic principles than the votes of 70, or 80, or even 90% of the population.

We see this today when the uber wealthy use their billions to buy unlimited media coverage and leverage political influence over the federal government by financing and influencing political campaigns. This is followed by endlessly lobbying that includes a bottomless pit of money made available to members of Congress, the White House, and Cabinet members if they agree to ‘play ball’ with this political elite.

This obviously provides an unearned advantage to these special interest groups (e.g. Wall Street, big banks, big Pharma, the military-industrial complex, NRA, arms dealers, international corporations, etc.) at the expense of the people and our democratic process. The result is backroom deals and many other perversions of our democratic process, such as “earmarks” in unrelated legislation that bestow great wealth or a non-competitive advantage to an individuals and small groups.

The result is our current and most undemocraticpay for play” system that results in “the best damn government that money can buy!”, as well as our modern equivalent of class warfare – political unrest and divisiveness earlier referred by Congressman Marco Rubio where half of us hate the other half.

This specific constitutional configuration did indeed stop the rare event of ‘mob rule’, but sadly for the rest of us, it unintentionally created a “money rule” coup in relation to an inappropriately-politicized federal government.