Making government as small as possible makes for less corporate influence, or so I heard one pundit say. Our government right now is on some kind of psilocybe freefall, reality slowly slipping away as democracy’s remnants emit a deathly stench like you’d smell if your granddad had just contracted gangrene.
I realized how bad things had gotten only yesterday when I heard about the Ag gag rule, which prevents video taping conditions at farms and companies processing animals. It seems a pretty good slap in the face of freedom of speech, but then the founding fathers didn’t have video. Good thing. We have video on every street corner, every parking garage, every store tracking the movements of ordinary people. But when it comes to farm animals, that’s where society draws the line.
This morning, the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial by former FEC chair Bradley A. Smith bemoaning the fact that whenever ordinary folk smell the whiff of corporate involvement in politics they don’t like, they have a knee jerk reaction of boycotting the products associated with said corporation. I’ve got to agree with him that sometimes these boycotts border on the absurd.
One boycott often leads to another, creating a damaging snowball effet. For example, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin is asking fellow conservatives to boycott companies that succomb to liberal boycotts.
On the other hand, this is a brave new world. We’ve never had a corporate run entity like the American Legislative Exchange Council, which writes entire laws. We’ve never had a Supreme Court ruling like Citizens United which lets corporations donate unlimited money to elections. It used to be you could throw the bums out by entering a voting booth. What the hell else can you do but boycott when democracy’s life support is about to be removed.
I’d go so far as to say that boycotting is the new voting. It would be nice if one of these 24 hour cable news outlets could just run a nightly list of corporate sponsored laws and the corporations that sponsor them in order to decide just who they ought to boycott. Or maybe a banner could run under television ads letting the viewer know the political donations made by the advertiser. Anything to make the public more informed boycotters. If we could do that, I’d even accede to a world without democracy.
Lobbying against single payer healthcare, Brawny Towels. Ha! Cloth works just as well as your paper products!
Oh and the above cartoon is from 2002 or thereabouts. It’s not like we had some revolutionary war to get our new government. We were like boiling frogs and never noticed the change until it was too late.