Originally Published at The Lobbyist Effect
Misdirection is a form of deception in which the attention of an audience is focused on one thing in order to distract its attention from another. Apathy is a lack of enthusiasm or energy, lack of interest in anything, or the absence of any wish to do anything.
You have political ADD, prove me wrong and read the entire article.
I was watching a GOP debate in Florida a few months back. Newt Gingrich had been taking heat from Mitt Romney because of his payments from Freddie Mac for his “historian” expertise. Mitt was calling him out as an unregistered lobbyist without using the words. Being that they were in Florida made it extremely poignant because of their high foreclosure rate. Many people in the audience and in the state are/were profoundly affected by the economic crisis and inclined to hate big banks such as Freddie Mac. Newt, came prepared, so he thought. He attacked back. Gingrich said Romney had personal holdings in “a part of Goldman Sachs that was explicitly foreclosing on Floridians.” He did; it’s called a blind trust. A blind trust is a trust managed by third-party: a legal arrangement in which a trustee manages funds for the benefit of somebody who has no knowledge of the specific management actions taken by the trustee. Assuming Newt had done his homework, he already knew this.
Why do I even point this out? It is a game of misdirection. Government officials of all types are pointing out flaws on the other side to distract us from the big picture. Democrats are turning the Treyvon Martin shooting into a political debate. It shouldn’t be a debate of Republican versus Democrat. It should simply be about convicting a murderer. Republicans are doing everything in their power to bring down “Obama Care.” They have turned it into a life-style choice. Instead of the benefits of this program, they are looking at the fact that traditional medicare generally covers some sort of birth control. “Why should I have to pay for this person’s sex-life?” It shouldn’t be a question about paying for a sex-life, but instead about the logistics of paying for a nationwide health plan. Debate that to death instead of trying to distract us from real issues like the fact that millions are without. They have a very good argument when it comes to funding it, why not stick to that? It’s not sexy enough! They have to have multiple bullets in their distraction roulette game in the hope that one of them will hit their mark. Democrats have, in turn, turned the Republican raised issue about paying for someone elses birth control with tax money into a “war on women.” It is a beautiful spin making Republicans look rather sexist. No matter how you look at it, it is a spin game. Everything is to distract us from issues they don’t want in the headlines.
The issue that neither Republicans or Democrats want to focus on is campaign finance reform. What? You might say that is a huge leap. You’re right, but hear me out for a moment. Nothing in government is left untouched by the almighty dollar. It is campaign dollars that push, manipulate, stall, and even write legislation. The amount of money it takes to win an election these days is crazy, and it is getting crazier! To keep their jobs, and their standing within their respective political parties is pushing politicians to continually fundraise. Literally, they spend 30-60% of their time trying to put money in the war chest. If you think that campaign donors expect nothing for their money, you are sadly mistaken. Just looking at earmarks, there are hundreds of examples where donors are getting earmarks. Matter of fact, I find it hard to find where an earmark didn’t benefit a campaign donor, or someone who spent millions lobbying and the lobbyist contributed to an earmarks sponsor.
If you think it is just earmarks just look at Greg Walden, Republican Congressman, who just introduced the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012. This act would significantly reduce the FCC’s ability to govern big media companies. He receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from the very media companies that wouldbenefit from this legislation.
Here is where the apathy comes in. Your eyes have probably rolled back into your head and I’ve lost your attention. I was talking to a buddy of mine about this stuff the other day and he said, “that’s just business as usual.” It killed me! It is only business as usual because we allow it to happen. We allow them to distract us with topics unrelated to their pay for play government. We didn’t do this, but it is our job to collectively stand up and say no. It isn’t ok to sell legislation to your biggest campaign donors. We need to take our ADD medicine and stay on point. We need campaign finance reform more importantly than any thing else. Once real reform is done, we can focus on other important issues. That way they are not tainted with corporate dollars.