Thirty one people were killed in the El Paso and Dayton shootings. The public is thoroughly disgusted with these mass shootings. Ninety perent of us want expanded background checks on weapon purchases (Washington Post 2013). So will we enact effective gun legislation? The smart money says no. For years Americans have paid much more for prescription drugs than other developed countries. 80% say the costs are too high and want Congress and the President to do something about it (Kaiser Family Foundation 2019). So far there has been a lot of talk, but no action. Scientists tell us that the earth is warming because of human actions, and this warming is an existential threat to us as a species. You would think politicians would be scrambling to address the issue. Nope. We can’t even get a climate debate on the Senate floor, and our Executive Branch is actively working to negate climate science and continue reliance on fossil fuels.
So why can’t we confront issues, debate proposals, and enact potential solutions? There are plenty of reasons why we don’t, but here is a big one: money in politics. A quick look at how we finance our elections, and how politicians get elected and stay elected will tell you a lot about why we can’t get anything done even if the vast majority of us are in favor of actions.