Is Money in Politics the Problem? Or is the Problem You and Me?

Money in politics is the problem? It’s part of it. But blaming money is like saying, “Giving lots of candy to children is the cause of their tooth decay”–no, it’s just as much the fact that children haven’t learned to say no to candy, like most adults have. The problem is that children are just…children. They’re supposed to be innocent and impulsive, of course. Nothing wrong with that. But the problem is not so much candy–it’s the person.

The problem with money in politics is the people who are easily swayed by propaganda, and, in the case of politicians being greased by lobbyists, by self interest. The problem is the person.

A percentage of people seeing an ad funded by the Koch brothers slandering a candidate will be skeptical–but a great many people, maybe most, will take the ad’s propaganda in wide-eyed, gape-mouthed, and with no conscious filter at all. They aren’t actually conscious when watching the ad. Their eyes are open, the words are heard on some level, but they’re not bringing enough to the process to be skeptical about it. They are not going to invest energy in checking the facts. As the saying is, they’re being spoon fed.

It’s going to go on. We can try to raise money to provide spots that wake people up to the facts, and that could help–but we could also go for the root of the problem. We can look for ways to show people how they’re asleep when they think they’re awake. And that in itself could startle them into skepticism about the latest production of the Big Lie. It could even startle a congressman into discovering his conscience.

No, I’m not saying that people who have different political opinions from me are low consciousness. I’m saying that almost everyone everywhere is low consciousness, I’m lower consciousness than I should be, and I’m saying that consciousness affects, among other things, how we make social decisions. Including political choices. My *opinion* is that right-wing extremism and blind conservativism is characteristic of low consciousness–and there are studies that suggest that it’s a fear-driven politics, grounded in bigotry–but ultimately, I don’t make a definitive claim about the correspondence. I think–work on consciousness…and see where your conscience takes you. If an increase in the scope of awakeness leads one to choosing a conservative path, so be it.

We can literally become more conscious–more awake. There are paths that offer this possibility.


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