Regardless where you fall on the issues of gun control, child abuse and labor relations, the following illustrates the underlying problem: Our government does not represent We The People, but They the Political Class who own it.
1) “In the 2012 election cycle, (NRA) used $32 million (around 10% of its budget) for political spending.”
2) Donations from manufacturers and other (corporate) interests were about a third of the NRA’s total $300 million budget that year, or about $100M.
3) $15M, or about a sixth, of the NRA’s political spending went to “negative advocacy” against Pres Obama.
4) Obama’s re-election was widely considered a foregone conclusion, with most Electoral College predictors accurately calling most state’s results many months in advance – several calling them 100% correctly. This $15M was therefore wasted, but the loss is inconsequential: it came from corporate entities, who don’t have kids to feed, only profits to grow.
5) The NRA claimed just 4M members in 2012. This is far less than 1.5% of the US population, even assuming all (100%) of membership holds US citizenship.
6) 1.5% of the US population could clearly never afford such an expense, with such a low probability of success. Only non-human (therefore non-constituent) entities, which have none of the pressures of humans could have recovered from such a gamble.
7) Recent events have shown that both we gun owners and NRA rank-and-file membership overwhelmingly support background checks, while NRA’s leadership opposes background checks.
8) Far from the gun issue, this phenomenon is common among large, well-funded and therefore politically powerful groups. Catholic hierarchy and the insurance lobby oppose PA House Bills 237 and 238. Said bills would reform the Statute of Limitations on reporting child sexual abuse, and seemingly have no opposition among We The People…except:
“The Insurance Federation of PA, a staunch opponent to the legislation that incidentally donated money in 2012 to both Caltagirone and Marsico but to neither Bishop nor McGeehan, is surely pleased. As is the PA Catholic Conference, which isn’t required to disclose the expenditures but lobbies hard against the legislation for reasons that are now, given the landmark child endangerment conviction of Msgr. Lynn and forthcoming civil suits, sadly obvious.”
It is a stretch indeed to think these powerful and disconnected lobbyists represent the wishes of Catholic laity or premium-paying insurance customers.
9) Likewise, conservative activists have long cited union lobbies not reflecting the wishes of their rank-and-file membership as the reason for Right-to-Work laws:
“Compulsory unionism is primarily responsible for the Tax-and-Spend policies of the U.S. Congress. Under their federally-granted coercive powers, union officials collect some $4.5 billion annually in compulsory dues and funnel much of it into unreported campaign operations to elect and control congressional majorities dedicated to higher taxes and increased government spending.”
The cases above show that, in the cases of gun control, child abuse and labor relations, the will of We The People is being ignored – or worse demagogued – of, by and for They The Political Class. In every case money is the driving force; both the motivation for, and mechanism of, this circumvention of our representation.