From Kristina Chew on care2com, April 17, 2013: “86 percent of Americans are in favor of expanded background checks on guns. But on Wednesday, the Senate failed to pass a bipartisan plan by a vote of 54-46, just six short of the votes needed to clear the chamber.”
The NRA and other gun rights supporters think that “violence is best addressed with violence” and vowed to defeat any Senator who voted for the proposal to expand background checks.
Many of us (86 percent) can still think logically. E.g., More guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them is a bad idea. This incident is illustrative of how corrupted by special interests our political system has become. We are not longer represented by our elected representatives. In the place of the rational contract – representatives represent those who elect them – we have a topsy-turvy madness, fueled by profit driven main stream media and the politicians’ need to fund outrageously expensive campaigns. Put this hodge podge of factors in a bowl and mix vigorously and we get these headlines from our politicians, religious leaders and political pundits:
“After Newtown, More Senators Vote To Weaken Gun Laws Than Strengthen Them”
“Radical Islamists…Are Trained To Act Hispanic”
“New Hampshire Lawmaker Calls All Women ‘Vaginas”
“High Court Squelches Ability To Hold Anyone Accountable For Human Rights Violations Abroad”
“After Company Executives Get Massive Bonuses, Regal Theater Chain Cuts Employees’ Hours To Avoid Obamacare”
“Scarborough: Christians Will Be Persecuted and Imprisoned if SCOTUS Legalizes Gay Marriage”
“Louie Gohmert Opposes Gun Control Because Gay Marriage Leads to Bestiality”
“Klingenschmitt: Children of Gay Parents Are ‘Abused Kids’ Who Are ‘Recruited Into’ and ‘Used as Pawns for the Homosexual Agenda”
“Rios: Schools No Longer Teach Reading and Writing, Now Just Promote Homosexuality”
“Southern Baptist Leader Fred Luter Links North Korean Threats to Gay Marriage, Boy Scouts”
“Robertson: Gay Marriage Advocates, Following In Steps of Illuminati, Out to Destroy God and Family”
“James Dobson Floats Claim That Pastors May Soon Be Imprisoned”
“Laura Ingraham Uses Boston Bombing To Stoke Fears About Immigration Reform”
“Breitbart’s Shapiro: Obama Arguing For Tax Fairness Is Like O.J. Simpson Being “The Lead Advocate Against Murder”
“Fox’s Dobbs: Obama “Would Be Elated If Every American Were Dependent Upon His Administration”
“Westboro Baptist Church To Picket Funerals In Wake Of Boston Marathon Bombing”
“GOP Rep. Barton Cites Biblical ‘Great Flood’ As Evidence That Climate Change Isn’t Necessarily Man-Made”
I’m afraid the abnormal looks normal to enough people who even these headlines don’t alarm them. They re-elect the politicians who make them, follow the religious leaders to invoke them, and support the sponsors of the pundits who spew them. But why?
Lawrence Lessig, in his new book, Lesterland: The Corruption of Congress and How to End It, gives us this scenario to contemplate: “Speaking of Congress, in the 2012 election 0.000032 percent – or 99 Americans – gave 60 percent of the individual SuperPAC money.”
“The U.S. has two types of elections: One, the traditional voting election, where citizens cast ballots. The other, a distinctively modern “money election, “ in which the relevant “funders” give enough money to afford candidates the chance to run effectively.”
Approximately 150,000 or 0.05 percent of the 311 million Americans, those “funders” who fund the “money election,” determine who we get to vote for before we ever reach the ballot box.
Now let’s put this picture puzzle together. Americans know government is not working. We go the polls after being promised all manner of improvements. We elect and re-elect representatives who don’t represent us. Nothing really changes. We are all a little crazy as a result, which makes the kind of nutty headlines I’ve listed above seem almost normal.
If there still exists a shadow of doubt in your mind that special interest money runs our country, you’re not paying attention or you’ve adjusted to the abnormal. If you’ve adjusted, welcome to Alice’s Wonderland, where freaky characters seem normal and are celebrated for making the headlines above.
Robert De Filippis