My highest national value is democracy. But right now, there is a severe imbalance of representation that is counterproductive to democracy. Private and corporate interest is being represented, while public interest is not. We can change this, if we request it together.
After reading this post, please sign the petition: New Voter Tools for Truer Representation (see link below). The petition contains more information explaining why the tool suggested is needed and how it can expand the public’s ability to participate — bringing about a more effective democracy in which our representatives actually can be pressured to represent us when there is an undeniable common vision.
Here are several ways the wealthiest individuals and their corporations use resources and money to gain imbalanced influence and dominance over our government and policy:
1. The wealthiest individuals and their corporations supply candidates’ campaign funding directly and indirectly, overtly and covertly. This creates a situation in which candidates have tremendous obligation to these donors– not to the public. And it is a situation in which the depth of government’s special obligation to corporations is hidden.
2. The same wealthy individuals and their corporations hire full-time lobbyists and lawyers to maintain an ongoing presence and active relationship with lawmakers and public officials. This creates a condition of mutual helpfulness and potent attentiveness between our government and their donors– distracting from a relationship and attentiveness that should be given to the public.
3. These wealthy individuals and their corporations join with each other to construct entities (such as ALEC) for ongoing collaboration between corporations, their lawyers, and the lawmakers for the sake of creating policy written by and for corporations. Through these collaborations, initiated by corporations, legislation is created that will benefit corporations, and lawmakers are pushed to introduce and enact this legislation– often against the public interest. Government is working … but not for the public.
4. Finally, the wealthiest individuals and their corporations also use their wealth to limit the damage in public trust that our representatives should be suffering, as our public officials continue their special service to private interests. Think tanks supported and put together by corporations use word-craft to distract and influence the public. The think tanks find ways to frame corporate policy agenda to distort the issues and confuse the public. Think tanks make the corporate boss’s policy appear to be in line with the target population’s values.
Many of us are attentive enough. We know and understand these things. But why don’t we do anything to counter this imbalance of power over our government? That is not a rhetorical question. I hope you will sign the petition linked below, but if you choose not to, we would be interested to hear and consider your thoughts or situational realities that prevent you from doing so. If you want to share your reasons for not signing this petition, please make a comment to this blog post.
And, if you are willing to sign the petition, we would love to know what issues you feel might hold widespread public support from citizens eligible to vote. These issues could be successfully presented on a website tool such as the one requested in the petition. They would be important issues which our government should respond to, rather than not responding and pretending that our government is “broken”.
Our government is not “broken.” It is just being a deadbeat in its relationship to the public. If we step forward en masse and demand new voter tools for truer representation, I believe government will begin to behave as a democracy.
If you value democracy, please sign: