We all have special interests
With both political parties promising to change how things are done in Washington and “kicking out” the corrupting influences of special interests and their lobbyists, one wonders who these special interests are. Special interests are liberally defined as individual companies, trade associations, and organizations who are advocates for specific goals that are are regulated, somewhat controlled, subsidized, competing for public funds or taxation benefits or generally seeking a public stance that furthers their goals.
Are you a member of a union? If so, you belong to a special interest group. Are you a member of AARP, belong to a trade association, a (non-union) teacher’s association, a business owner who is a member of the local chamber of commerce, belong to an organization that promotes causes such as environmental protection, women’s rights, right to bear arms (e.g the NRA), etc.? I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.
Most of us belong to a special interest group, often more than one. Perhaps you are an employee of Exxon Mobil. If you contribute to their political action committee, you are supporting a special interest. If you don’t, you are still employed by a special interest and presumably have a vested interest in how successful your employer is which depends to varying degrees on public policy.
So, the political campaigns have met the enemy and they are us, nearly all of us. Will the next administration get rid of special interest? You tell me. Just keep in mind that special interests are not equal. Using an old axiom, “those who got, get.”
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