By Isaiah Cordova
The United States is considered a bastion of democracy by other nations. However there are many examples of continued corruption in the United States Congress. Major corporations, advo- cacy groups, and powerful in- dividuals eyeing a spot in the government all donate large sums of money to lawmakers in order to advance their prots, ideas, and career. All of this self-interest amounts to nothing less than bribery. In 2010, a Supreme Court decision reclassi ed large corporations as “persons,” meaning that businesses re- quire some form of representa- tion in our democratic system.
But this classi cation leads one to ask why should corpora- tions, whose only incentive for existing is pro t, have a louder voice than everyday Ameri- cans?
Advocacy groups like Club for Growth often give politicians large sums of money in order to promote their idealo- gy. e Economic Policy advocacy group is another example which repeatedly harasses lawmakers who vote against their ideology. The Center for Responsive Politics cites Colorado Senators having received over $17 million dollars, mostly from oil and gas magnates and from Club for Growth. e continued allowance of groups like Club for Growth to in u- ence our elected o cials and attack those who don’t follow their vision is damaging to the American system. Getting Big Money out of politics would make our politi- cal system more fair and demo- cratic.
Corporations and CEOs like the Koch Brothers, another big source of donations for conservatively-minded lawmakers, have repeatedly paid politicians to deny scientic evidence regarding climate change, and to encourage spreading of oil and gas industry. ey have often donated larger sums of money than Exxonmobil when donat- ing to politi- cians regard- ing oil and gas regula- tions. Getting around these regulations will allow for these companies to pro t more. Pur- suing politicians to advance pro t margins is taking advantage of our damaged electoral system is what makes America so corrupt now. Congressmen have repeatedly taken donations from in- dividuals who are now, or who will soon be, in a high-level government position because of their vote. The current administration is alled with multiple people who have donated inordinate amounts of money to GOP lawmakers and officials. Ac- cording to the Center for Responsive Politics, the individuals who currently ll cabinet positions have, over the last ten years, donated a total of over $26 million to the Republican party. The Democratic party doesn’t even come close with just under $250 thousand from cabinet members in that same time period.
Some people will see money in politics as a positive thing, arguing that without it, many businesses will not get a say in the government. But, why should a corporation be given more representation than people owners of these large companies have monetary in- centive to override the People’s voice in our democracy. e United States Constitution begins with, “We the People,” not “We the CEOs.”
Advocacy groups constantly fund politicians who sup- port them and attack politicians who do not, creating a rift along party lines regarding funding. In order to insure the democratic process, lawmakers need to limit how many donations politicians can receive.
Individuals with enough money to in uence congress- men also take away from our democracy by getting a louder voice than average Americans do. There is no reason for pow- erful individuals to have more say in the government than you and your neighbor.
It is becoming abundantly clear that the US is not as dem- ocratic as its image suggests. e corruption which runs unhindered in our government corrupts the voice of Americans and tarnishes our reputation as a democracy. By allowing what is essentially bribery to run rampant in the United States, we the people have surrendered our voice to large corporations and private interests.
It is time to get money out of our politics in order to re- pair the democracy which the United States is founded upon and praised for.