Herman Cain’s ascendancy should come as no surprise to any that understand that we are no longer represented by our Congressmen. As ex head of the American Restaurant Association, he has acted as “congressional representative” for the lobby. We now take our government concerns to our special interest groups because they are the only effective way to get change through Congress. They are able to not only give us the names and addresses of our elected representatives; they also give us the words to send to them. These 35,000 unelected representatives, called Lobbyists, are able to use money to sway our Congressmen in a way that only rich individuals like George Souros and the Koch brothers can emulate. The use of or the threat of the use of campaign contributions has altered the representative nature of our government. Elected officials have to be concerned about things that have no bearing on their districts because of the funds that will be used in their elections coming from these special interests. The gun lobby has made effective gun control a subject that can’t even be broached by beleaguered inner city representatives for fear of contributions going to an opponent. The health insurance lobby was able to use the US Chamber of Commerce to spread lies about health reform that have taken on a life of their own. The global warming skeptics all seem to be funded by the energy industries. The board of directors of the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency are elected by the exchanges and brokerage companies. It will be interesting to see how the CPA’s and tax preparers will fight the flat tax proposals currently surfacing. With over 70% of our Congressmen being millionaires, (the other 30% can be millionaires after they leave Congress to work as lobbyists), is it any surprise that they have decided to not increase their own taxes. The poor, of course, have no fiscally flush lobby, making it easy to make them a scapegoat. The current “I’ve got mine, screw you” attitude has no one with money to fight it.
The way to break out of this cycle of greed is to pass a Constitutional Amendment that defines “electioneering” and prohibits any from electioneering who cannot vote in the election in question. This would truly return our government to the local people who are really affected by their representative’s actions.