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Big Money + Big Politics = Big Trouble for Small People

Updated on November 29, 2012

The power of our votes has been exercised after a divisive national election pitting groups, sexes, and special interests against each other. Was it "divide and

Is it dawn or sunset for true popular government "of the people, by the people, and for the people"?
Is it dawn or sunset for true popular government "of the people, by the people, and for the people"? | Source

We know some banks are still "too big to fail." Why is it like "rocket science" to fix the problem? Where is the public interest being served?

In case you didn't read the photo's captions and the header for this article, here they are again:

Is it dawn or sunset for true popular government "of the people, by the people, and for the people"?

We know some banks are still "too big to fail." Why is it like "rocket science" to fix the problem? Where is the public interest being served?

The power of our votes has been exercised after a divisive national election pitting groups, sexes, and special interests against each other. Was it "divide and conquer" or "democracy in action"?

There is no question that Election 2012 in the United States of America was the most expensive in the country's history, yet fewer voters voted than in either of the two previous presidential elections.

It has been apparent that the two candidates and their campaigns exercised different strategies, and that from very early in the election campaign the strategy of the Obama campaign concentrated on the states with the largest number of Electoral College votes, and on winning the votes in the largest cities of those states. People are still trying to understand what the Romney campaigns strategy was, which came up so short of victory.

With 42% of eligible voters not casting their votes, and with those who did vote so deeply divided along ethnic, racial, social, and sexual lines, the first task of both the outgoing Congress and the incoming Congress, has to be restoring national unity at a time when the issues facing the country will call for unpopular sacrifices on such subjects as the economy and unemployment, the tax code, the nation's still growing national debt, defense spending, immigration policy, decaying infrastructure, entitlements, a failing educational system, and sectionalism.

At the root of the difficulties the current Congress and Administration face is the power of big business, big money, and what both of those powerful forces can exert in lobbying senators and representatives as well as the White House. Obama hosting Romney for a luncheon discussion at the White House was not likely to diminish "the orchestrated noise" big business and big money depend on to get their way in the absence of any powerful, matching voices from the general public.

In House and Senate committee hearings on any major piece of legislation, such as reforming the banks which remain "too big to fail," the voices of big business and big money are listened to many times over, compared to the less powerful voices of citizens' groups and academics. The contest for congressional attention is lost even before it is engaged.

In the election just concluded, big money spoke so loudly from both sides that the "small people" ( you and I) were like whisperers whispering in a tornado.

Some lobbyists have budgets which are larger than your local school board's annual budget, and those budgets are designed to have their message heard over and over again, so many times that committee members begin to internalize them and disregard other voices and cautions. Their messages and arguments are coordinated, so that the messages from the lobbyists and the testimony of a particular industry's witnesses will reinforce each other, and secure the desired outcome, be it inaction or a watered-down approach to corrective action.

In too many cases, big money gets the chosen politicians to Washington, DC, and then, if the politicians are amenable to the message and desired favorable outcomes, big money will keep those same politicians there through more election spending, with the goal that "their" representative and "their" senator will obtain seniority enough to obtain and hold onto the key committee chairmanship the sponsoring big money needs returned favors from.

From time to time there is "a newcomer" elected to Congress, and the portfolio the lobbyists begin to build on the newcomer would rival an FBI profile on one of America's most wanted fugitives. We may from time to time check our representative's voting record on key issues. So will anyone intending to run against that representative in some future election. The lobbyists have the staff and the money to know what that representative has said and written on each and every piece of legislation before the Congress. Their profile, and their connections, and their fat budgets, may well be enough to wear down "a newcomer," gain him or deny him a role on a committee in Congress, and the game goes on.A citizens' group such as Common Cause, or the Tea Party, or Occupy Wall Street, can cause a stir, present its arguments, even influence the campaigns and victories of some chosen candidates. But their resources are minuscule compared with those of "banks too big to fail," corporations essential to the economy and national defense, and major donors who seem to "merit" special consideration.

The "Small People" voiceless at the sidelines are the dog being wagged by the tail, unless they can coalesce into something as powerful as the big money and big politicians who know too well what could happen, if the voters ever become inspired enough to organize in a popular cause, and feel the first inklings of their own power to make a difference toward a true government "of the people, for the people, and by the people."


Copyright 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.

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    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 14 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      It would appear that enough of "the 'Small People'" cited in this Hub of four years ago, got together to "clean the swamp" to elect an "outsider" as president of the USA for 2017.

      The turn out of voters who had not voted for 10 years or longer, but did vote for Mr. Trump, seem an expression of those 'Small People".

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      The assertion that the president is ducking his duties by going to Hawaii on vacation is not something I am really concerned about. Congress will be on vacation. The president can sign a bill anywhere.

      His daughters are on vacation, and Hawaii is such a great place to vacation. That it costs $4 million total, ignores the fact that it would cost some portion of that, even if they went to Camp David or spent Christmas at the White House. If he is ducking out on Christian activities such as the lighting of the national Xmas tree due to differing religious beliefs, be frank, up front, and tell us they don't excite him, or that he has different beliefs. But that is also his privilege, one of many as president, and as an America. Merry Christmas, First Family.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 5 years ago

      We now have about 14 days for our elected leaders to keep us from falling off the fiscal cliff. There is actually more time than that, but they don't work on weekends, and will be leaving for their Christmas vacations before the actual deadline, leaving them about 14 working days.

      Not that this is important enough to put in a few extra hours of work or delay their vacation. I suspect the outcome is already decided, and the time limit is nothing more than to keep us in suspense like we see on all the TV reality shows. And that is what our government has become, a TV reality show with scripts to follow and suspense building deadlines.

      It will be interesting to see what the outcome really is, but I don't believe it will good for any of us non-government employees.

    • lifeisviewtiful profile image

      Theo Vanderburgh 5 years ago from Merced, California

      Nice hub. I can't stand lobbying. Money buys presidents, not votes, and they have made this completely legal. Legal bribing is all it is. I do agree that the citizens groups and like minded individuals can make a change. Indeed it is the only thing that every has! Thanks for the great read!

    • profile image

      Perspycacious 5 years ago

      carol7777 : The problems with "meetings after mettings" is coming up with a "meeting of the minds"! Inviting the people they "want to hear" testify to their committee (because they already know what they will say) is like saying that Santa Claus actually lives year 'round at the North Pole because those who testify to that "fact" were all children under the age of five!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      It seems like there are meetings after meetings and nothing really gets done. You always do a remarkable job on political woes and happenings. Always enjoy reading.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Old Poolman: Based on the recent election, almost all of them would be returned by today's voters, so don't count on an interim election of such sweeping proportions to make any difference in the long run. Sorry.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 5 years ago

      It seems the only thing that would work would be a clean sweep removing all of them at the same time. They can then reapply for their jobs and let us decide who gets hired and who does not.

      This of course would require the citizens of this country who can vote to be aware of what is really going on, and that will never happen.

      One week before the last election we had people who had no idea who was running for the office of President. With apathy to this degree, how can we ever expect to change the way things are operating?

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Old Poolman: If they do not represent our best interests, it will "bottom out". The likelihood that they will represent all of us, and not the special interests, seems small at this time, so perhaps the bottoming out is upon us. Thanks for the vote and the time spent commenting.

    • profile image

      Janhorner 5 years ago

      Very interesting and well written hub. Politicians (not my favorite people!), some of them and their promises of this and that which are never actioned put voters off when elections come around. I admit I have noted voted for years and until some honest politicians are running for government I will refrain from putting my X in the box!

      Your hub had some very interesting information, voted up,


    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      You started this with failing banks. I worked for the execs of an oil company. Now start your idea from that political enigma. We have let them grow so powerful, there is no way to touch them. Tax them and guess who will pay.

      But our political leaders - a change is coming.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 5 years ago

      Great hub. Now we need to get ready for another circus side show intended to make us believe they are actually working on these problems. They will posture, argue, and put on a great show and nothing will get accomplished except higher taxes and more spending.

      Perhaps the right thing to do is let it bottom out, pick up the pieces and start over. We can't do anything now about the power that has taken over Washington. Most politicians are owned by someone, and they are not about to give up their cushy, well paid jobs, with all the perks.

      We know now we can't count on the voters to clean house, so it will be business as usual with politics.