Bless your soul, Mick Mulvaney, for spelling out so clearly and succinctly the evil that drives Washington. As the former congressman and now interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explained to bankers on Tuesday, "We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress. If you're a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn't talk to you. If you're a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you." Yes, Mulvaney would also meet his constituents from back home, whom he insists were at the top of the hierarchy.
The result is a political system among the most corrupt in the world, but with a twist of genius: the US Supreme Court has for all intents and purposes legalized the corruption and thereby put American democracy on a downward death spiral.
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America is a pay-to-play political system. When the lobbyists pay up, they're at the table. And to be sure, the big boys now run the show. The result is a political system among the most corrupt in the world, but with a twist of genius: the US Supreme Court has for all intents and purposes legalized the corruption and thereby put American democracy on a downward death spiral. The system works like this.
America's business interests, upper classes and white population have long made it hard for the poor and working class to register to vote. In most other democracies, voter registration is not the responsibility of individual voters, but is more or less automatic. Unlike these other democracies, US elections are a game of voter turnout, not of substance.
Public policy in America has almost nothing to do with broad public opinion, a point that America's leading political scientists such as Benjamin Page and Martin Gilens have been making for years.