If it was true about Congress's failure to avoid sequester budget cuts, it's especially true about the U.S. Senate's epic miss on the background check amendment to the gun control bill last week.
Again, voters got the septic end of the stick. And who got to hold the clean end? That small, select group of campaign finance contributors--whose 'generosity' wields far greater force than 86% of Americans who support background checks.
What's more stunning than that injustice? Voters (you and I and everyone else we know) have no one to blame but themselves.
How could that be?
By and large, voters are not working together to draft candidates to run for public office. So, when a candidate for particular office emerges, he or she needs to reach the broadest audience of voters to win an election. That calls for mass communications--which requires immense financing. This is where the small, elite campaign finance community has emerged. Someone has to pay for those television and radio ads.
Most people have yet to acknowledge that between voters and wealthy campaign contributors lies a crucial fault line. The Senate's botching the background check amendment illustrates this influence gap. Very few elected officials are willing to talk about this--it would risk burning their own meal ticket.
Voters have surrendered their perogative as the majority interest in this nation; one that should be setting the terms over how much money a candidate can accept as a campaign contribution--that the amount should not wield a corrupting influence.
It goes without saying that very few voters would willingly elect a pederast or convicted felon to public office. The scruple is clearly defined. And though there is a general consensus about how much the current campaign finance system corrupts public policy, acknowledging this agreement is not enough.
It takes but a small, meaningful commitment by a pluralilty of voters to convey to all candidates for public office, challengers and incumbents alike: you're not a candidate worth our consideration if you accept any amount greater than $250 per campaign contribution.
If, ever, that day arrives, you'll observe a people taking responsibility for the republic and its destiny by which they live.