Talking politics is an intentionally confusing game built around inaccessible jargon and distracting talking points. For the average American–the people whom political policies affect most directly—talking politics is a rigged game. Private interest groups have constructed a mass system of distractions and obfuscation to keep the average citizen as separated from politics as possible, to keep the American people from the truth: American democracy is a sham so long as private interest controls our nation’s leaders and media outlets. Anything through which misinformation can be propelled has been capitalized on by private interests. As long as these groups and individuals control how we consume, they will continue to exercise their control over our desires, our fears, and our hope, in order to keep you and I distracted from the relevant issues, and focused on trivialities: what movies blew up at the box-office, which celebrities are getting nude for magazines, what we can do to enhance our sex lives… These are mere distractions from the one issue that matters: how can the public regain our political power from the wealthy private interests that have taken over the American government?
There is nowhere in American that you can escape the contamination of private interest’s influence, and politics is no exception. Everything in America is for sale. everything has been incorporated and packaged. There will never be a lack of influential people willing to sell their social responsibility to the highest bidder, not as long as Americans continue to play the consumer game the way the producers—the private interest groups—want us to play. I want you to understand that it is possible to fight against this poisonous system, against the mass distraction of the American people. It may seem impossible, with private greed and political corruption so deeply rooted in the American way of life, but there are ways of fighting back; there are ways we can begin to restore democracy in America.
Before we can have a conversation about what we can do externally to take political power back from the private interest groups and put it back in the hands of the public, we would do well to understand what it can take for us on a personal level to maneuver ourselves into the best position to fight back and restore democracy.
Here are three steps that I believe could help put us in that position, and ultimately enable us to take power away from private interest and put it back into the hands of the public where it belongs.
The first step is to change which questions we ask of our elected officials. As long as corporate media outlets continue to pull the American people’s focus in the wrong direction, we can’t expect the American people to be exposed to the issues that matter most. The questions we need to ask of every single elected official should be less about the idiosyncratic differences between political parties, and more about each politician’s stance on private money influencing the public good, whether private interest groups should be allowed to participate in the democratic process at all, or whether or not the politician in question, or their campaign, has been offered funding from private parties, and if so, that they provide full disclosure so we can grow our awareness of which private interest groups and individuals are trying to buy American policy. If you and I demand that our elected officials focus on the question of money in politics, if we refuse to acknowledge the endless debates on unresolvable issues such as whether abortion, or gun control can every really be 100% right or 100% wrong, if we stay focused on the real problems and stop at nothing to get our answers, then eventually the politicians will have no choice but to tackle these questions head on, whether they like it or not, because you and I will not settle for any ambiguity or avoidance regarding the corporatization of our government.
The second step is to demand that all media sources pursue the answers to the these questions or lose our viewership. We must make it as unprofitable for the companies to spread distraction as possible. We must demand the answers to the questions we need answered, not just the questions the politicians want to answer. You and I must make a deal with ourselves in our private lives to be vigilant in our disregard for every issue that is thrown at us by the media that does not directly touch on the problem of private money in politics, because until private money is eradicated from politics, there can be no democracy for the people. We must do our part to instill the desire for truth and change in our communities. If your friend or neighbor wants to discuss the latest hype in the media–where this politician was born, whether that one smoked pot or not, what religion the other one practices, or doesn’t practice–we must make it our duty as socially responsible Americans to refocus the conversation to the real problem: corporate media does not cover the issues that matter. It doesn’t matter what the politicians are saying about immigration, abortion, or gun control as long as they are working for private interests and not the public good. We must demand answers to the important questions, demand that the media outlets obtain these answers, or abandon those media outlets altogether.
The third step is meant to put direct pressure on the private interests behind our sociopolitical manipulation. We must relentlessly boycott any and all organizations and companies that are actively participating in the buyout of American policy. We must be steadfast in our aversion to any private interest that tries to influence American policy through wealth and influence in any capacity. Boycotts are historically successful when they can be organized and sustained, and I believe that awareness of these issues have grown to a point where you and I, with a little effort, can do some real damage to corporate wallets. If we can only refrain from giving our hard earned money to companies that then turn around and spend it on oppressive policies and propaganda that serve only themselves and the 1% of this nation, then we will be flexing the muscle of true power—the power of a people united for the public good, the power of a people who have been pushed down and trodden over in a centuries old war between the privileged few and the hard-working many, the power of a people convinced that we have the right to govern ourselves in the public interest, without the manipulation of private interests—and we will prove to the world that we are willing to stand up in recognition of our subjugation and refusal to be taken advantage of any longer.
These are my suggestions, and apart from these, there are more direct ways to stand up to corporate power including non-violent protests, walk-outs, sit-ins, mass demonstrations… but in order for these methods to have success on the level that is required for us to promote meaningful change in our government, I believe we must take these or similar steps to unite our fellow Americans in the fight against the mass mesmerization of the American people. We must refocus ourselves on the issues that really matter. These steps require certain level of self-control, a confidence in our ability to change our nation, and the righteousness of our cause. We do have the ability to take power back from the corporate bullies, but before we can, we must shake off this crippling apathy that has gripped our nation, an apathy that has become endemic to America in the wake of the limitless greed of private wealth, an apathy that has been fostered by private interest groups and matured through generations of our passive consumer mentality.
We can change this nation for the better. We can return political power back to the people. We can restore democracy in America. It will be a long, hard walk, but if we can make the politicians and the media outlets focus on the corporatization of American politics, if we can do our part in withdrawing support from companies that seek to manipulate American policy, then we will have started to shift the power from private hands, and back into the hands of the people. We can succeed, but we must begin with a change in ourselves.
This article was originally posted on NationofChange.