OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS were voted into office (hopefully not as a result of voter fraud) by the American people who put their faith and trust in them as well to be “our voice” in Washington. The main thrust of this article centers around the question are those we elected representing our interests at home or are they “selling” their vote to high powered/well financed lobbyists in exchange for personal favors.
Lobbyists have “bought” the votes of both Democrats and Republicans alike. They peddle their influence via large campaign contributions or other financial considerations to key members of the House, Senate with heaviest “investments” being given to the White House. Be it for a special “project” or key piece of legislation they want or do not want to see passed.
Some of the more well-known lobby groups include the NRA, Planned Parenthood, Oil Companies, Labor Unions, along with a bevy of other “special interest groups” who are keenly aware who can be “bought” and what the price is. A key indicator if you representative is heavily influenced by a group or groups is to see if they vote with the wishes of the people who elected them or the exact opposite.
How harmful are lobbyists to the public? That all depends on who is doing the lobbying, what are they lobbying for or against. In some cases the end results have little or no bearing on the average citizen nor are they likely to. Politics as practiced by politicians is a dirty game of give and take where there are always big winners as there are big losers.
Many political careers were destroyed by those who not only were approached by lobbyists while helping them to a degree but accepted large cash bribes, lavish gifts or anything else of high materialistic value the politician could ever want including protection from prosecution if they are caught or if necessary “relocation assistance.”
The big unknown factor in all of this is what or who really drives lobbyists (aka voting blocks) to go to the lengths that they do. Is this cause (for lack of better terminology) so sincerely special to them that they will go to the greatest lengths to see it happen? After all there are so many things we would like to see changed either for our own personal good or that of our community yet we keep our efforts within the limits of what is right and ethical.
Is it fair for those of us who want what is right to have our realistic, wants, needs, concerns washed away as if a fire hydrant were opened up unleashing a powerful stream of water that repels anything that comes near it? Watching the water from that hydrant make mad dashes down the street is symbolic of our votes simply being washed away until the time comes when we can recap that hydrant.
Suffice it to say it is not simply a question as to whom and why those in office are selling or electing to sell their votes to but what is the cost that we must be burdened with or what will be the consequences or repercussions of their actions that we will have to suffer with until that time that their pipeline of “dealers” is shut down thereby exposing them to the harshest penalties our laws will allow.
Editor’s Note: See Joel’s related article here: Can You Please Show Me Valid ID?