Those of us who haven't been asleep or completely numb for the last few decades know the worst-kept secret in politics---most, if not all, politicians take BRIBES. They generally come in the form of "campaign contributions", paid trips, sexual liasons, speaking engagements, presidential library "donations", etc. These are the money transactions which are visible to the public. There are, of course, countless deals made behind closed doors which we will never see or hear about unless some suicidal whistleblower comes forward. These transactions are occurring, almost without exception, between some major, well-funded corporate interests and whichever politicians can best serve those interests. The primary actors involved in this bribery scheme are the military/industrial giants, the medical/pharmaceutical corps., the insurance agencies and the 'guns for everyone' mfgrs. and their lobbyists, such as the NRA. They are all guily of bribery, but we aren't supposed to use that word in 'polite' society. I'm sure I've left out a few more providers and beneficiaries of political bribery, but my head hurts already.
I think that many of us can now agree that voting for any candidates who have any chance of winning a major election is a complete waste of time. Once we understand that those candidates have been 'bought and paid for' long before you cast your vote, we can start to look for alternatives. The first step, I believe, is to accept that bribery is the foundation of our political system. There is no way we will "get money out of politics", because money is part of the basic structure of politics.
As long as we can collectively out-bid the heavy hitters and their "donations", I think we can get our country back. It just requires that all 'elected' politicians acknowledge that they regularly accept bribes, and then agree to negociate with the rest of us, the people whose lives are directly impacted by their congressional votes. This proposal also works equally well for the military and healthcare votes that are frequently cast. We in the public can have direct control over these systems if we are informed and have the opportunity to out-bid the current controllers. We could actually stop wars, bring our brothers and sisters home from overseas occupations, and save hundreds of BILLIONS in so-called 'defense' spending !
We may have to form something like AVPAC, the American Voter Political Action Committee. The main thing is, it would actually REPRESENT us....
Currently, donating to the candidate of your choice is far less results-oriented than a trip to the casino. Your $20, $50 or $100 simply cannot compete with the tens and hundreds of thousands that special interests currently disperse to their bought-and-paid-for lackeys in Congress, so why bother? At least at the casino, you'll likely get a free drink or two.
***To any Federal investigators who might be reading this, don't bother threatening to come after me for offering a Federal official a bribe for a vote ala Rosie O'Donnell, since I'm only suggesting that members of Congress and the President* come clean and openly solicit their bribes, not from corporate interests but from the American public.
Universal skeptic, Vietnam-era draft refuser, all-around good guy.