You had better believe that the founding fathers never conceived of a form of governance that looks like the revolving door policy in the United States today.
In fact, the odds are pretty good that our founding fathers would be ashamed about how things have shaken out – and especially to where things are headed in the future without major and sweeping changes.
The odds are pretty high that you’ve at least heard of and are somewhat aware of the revolving door in the world of politics today, though you may not be intimately familiar with the in’s and out so this form of governance and its destructive capabilities.
Hopefully we are going to be able to shed at least a little bit of light on the situation, and better informed use of that so you know exactly what we are all up against.
What exactly are revolving door politics in the United States?
At least as far as the world of politics in America is concerned, the revolving door speaks to the way that personnel moves from their role as legislators and regulators (usually in Congress) that are responsible for creating legislation that impacts industries that they will eventually move over to after their time as a legislator or as a regulator is up.
They move through this process as though they were trapped inside of a revolving door, acting first as the people responsible for setting up the rules and laws of the industries and then later acting as the heads of those industries – playing by the very rules and laws that they helped to establish in the first place!
This is a major problem in the world of governance today, and is why something close to 85% of the American population believes that the government – Congress, the president, and even the Supreme Court all – are bought and paid for by industries that are looking to establish and cement this revolving door for their benefit.
Which major industries benefit the most from these revolving doors?
Just about every major industry (and a significant amount of “special interests”) hires lobbyists to represent themselves and defend their interests to Congressman and other representatives in Washington DC.
However, the savviest of these industries and of these special interests go a step further, and instead of hiring high-powered lawyers or impressive salespeople to represent themselves and their industries, they choose to hire those that have already worked for the federal government – possibly even in the position that they are going to be working to lobby for.
Think of it like this:
If you had the chance to hire someone off the street to plead your case in front of a judge or the chance to hire the judge that was replaced by this one, it would be a no-brainer, wouldn’t it?
Wouldn’t you be practically guaranteed to have more influence than you would have otherwise?
And if you could somehow tell that current judge – maybe indirectly – that they would have the chance to get hired as a special interests lobbyist later down the line, don’t you think they might be interested in ruling for you as well?
This is the state of American politics as it sits today.
The pharmaceutical industry, the electronics and manufacturing industry, and the for-profit educational industry represent the biggest lobbyists on the block, though the transport, the telecom services, the health services, and the insurance agencies are also “heavy hitters” as far as revolving door politics and lobbying is concerned. Insurance companies have also had far reaching success. “Tort Reform” aimed at “frivolous” lawsuits has swept the country in the last twenty years, thanks in large part to the army of lobbyists the insurance company has under its payroll. Many have expressed frustration at the “cap on damages” laws that have passed in different states, many times hurting the very people that vote for the law in the first place.
What’s the future of American politics look like if the revolving door form of governance and lobbying stays in place?
Well, if things continue as they have already, the odds of the American people getting held further over a barrel are very, very significant.
New legislation would need to be brought up – and then passed by the same people that would be crippled by said legislation – which (for obvious reasons) doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon.
However, the people of America – close to 400 hundred million strong – always have the power in numbers. With a new crop of politicians that aren’t career politicians (or career lobbyists), we could be paving a new path for governance in the years to come.