There is a common delusion that because we can vote for our representatives, that once elected they will act in our favor… However, why should they? We, the common people did not provide them with the economic resources to run for public office. All we provided was our votes. Those who they truly serve are those who made it possible for them to run for public office, provided them with the economic resources to purchase the many thousands of dollars necessary to have even the remotest chance of being elected in the first place.
Who are these people? They are the ones who seek the economic advantages of favored positions in our society. The corporations, the banks, the licensed professionals, anyone who will earn an income or hold a position greater than what they could gain in a true free market economy. The medical profession. The legal profession. The educational profession along with those who “work for the government” . The corporations that seek various tax exemptions, favored trade rules, along with “support” when needed from the Treasury.
Also, those who benefit from government want to make sure that their control of the political system will never be endangered. For this reason the US political system from the beginning was designed to be effectively “controlled” by the upper class, the property owners mentioned in the Constitution as being the group who held the right to vote. Effectively they are about 10% of the population in total or perhaps a bit less here.
If you read the Constitution, you will see that our “Founding Fathers” designed things this way right from the start… Only a relatively small minority of white men had the right to vote. Women, racial minorities were not allowed to vote. Senators were “selected” by state governments, not the voters. The electoral college was designed to ensure that Presidents would be elected by the “proper people”. The Founding Fathers were slave owners, owners of businesses, professionals, and effectively at least “well to do” by the standards of the time. The idea that the “common people” should have a “say” in things was still well in the future. The idea that “business” should be free to treat its workers any way it wished was also a part of things all the way until after the start of the 20th Century. The Civil War ended slavery in 1865, but acceptance of racial equality didn’t begin until a century later.
The major reason we are as we are today is because of the fact that we elect people to public office. Naturally any time you start electing representatives, some will be made “offers they can’t refuse”. This is especially true today given the cost of political campaigns. For all practical purposes, unless you have one of the major political parties supporting you, or are a billionaire (like Ross Perot), running for political office and expecting to win is simply unrealistic. The way the “system” is set up it is impossible for anyone not already a “tool” of the vested interests to win election to anyone more than some local political office. And even here it is extremely difficult to win against those representing the major political parties. This is “why” any libertarian has to run as a member of one of the two major political parties to have any hope of winning any important political office today. Justin Amash of Michigan in the House and Rand Paul, Senator from Kentucky.
Which brings us to the question of what is the best solution to this problem? It is obvious that neither of the two major US political parties are able (or even interested) in resolving this issue. However we can look at recent modern history and see a partial solution. The legal changes in the laws regarding marijuana leave little doubt that “change”, if driven by sufficient numbers of politically involved citizens can exert an “influence” on the political system. The same thing applies to the changing public viewpoint of our sexual minorities. Gay marriage is now legal in a number of states. The status of gays and lesbians along with “transgendered” people has changed considerably just in this century alone! States are now finding that the economic costs of our drug laws, the resulting costs of putting millions of people in prison for activities that are not directed against persons or property is becoming increasingly “unaffordable”. The taxpayers are sick and tired of paying taxes just to house people in prison when these people were only a “threat to themselves”…
Then there is the changes in our laws regarding firearms and the carrying of personal firearms for self defense. There are now only a few states left where anyone with a “clean record” cannot obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun. Much of this is due to one of our major political parties finding that support of this idea was a definite “vote getter”. So there is ample evidence today that with sufficient popular pressure that seemingly once “unchangeable” laws can indeed be changed or repealed. It is quite likely that one of the reasons for the success of the Republican Party was the support of gun owners. When you are talking millions of voters, it becomes quite obvious that the Democrats made a very serious “mistake” here, one for which they have paid and will continue to pay, a very high price. It is also quite obvious that support of more personal freedom is a winning political policy today. Should the Democrats for example start to support moving many of today’s “prescription” drugs to “over the counter, adult signature required” status, it would be a winning policy for them. Especially as it would reduce the cost of taking care of your health. It is true that Obamacare has reduced health care costs for some, but at the cost of additional taxes on everyone else. Whereas changing our prescription laws would reduce the cost of health care for everyone. And since we’re paying $3,000,000,000,000 a year for health care, anything to reduce that economy crippling cost is an excellent idea…