COLUMN: Stop pretending politicians reflect your interests

Noah Pearson

OPINIONS EDITOR

Politics are the tool of lobbyist and large corporations to enact their will in the name of their own profit. Politicians are the pawns that enact and protect those interests in their name. If these interests ever intersect with your own, it is because a billionaire said so, not because that politician has any actual desire to advocate for your interests.

Elections are characterized by catchy slogans, appearances in key states, and empty promises. Politicians kiss babies, meet local organizers, and make grand statements about the change they wish to enact, and when they speak to change we want, we feel inspired and hopeful that someone at the top actually cares about us and our needs. This is simply not true.

People have normalized the amount of money politicians spend and receive to the point that we think someone being paid 21 million dollars by real estate companies (Barack Obama in 2012) is saying anything other than what those investors want them to say. Us little people do not have 21 million dollars to contribute to manipulate policy, so why would politicians give up that kind of money to act in our favor?

Over two billion dollars was raised for the five major candidates in the 2016 election. Five people raised over 30,000 times the median household income in the U.S. We cannot continue to act as if our voice, as people who represent that median, can ever have our needs at the forefront of a politicians interest unless we are happen to align with the interests of major corporations.

The idea that the average person, that poor people, that middle class people, that anyone in this country without several million dollars laying around can do anything to impact the status quo through voting or political action alone needs to be abandoned. It is manipulative, but more than anything it is just not true.

If you want to see change, be change. Act, do not just vote, do not just expect politicians to take care of you. True justice has never been awarded to anyone through a ballot box, and even the right for everyone to vote was fought for with literal blood, sweat, and tears.

Feed your community and communities near you, teach people in your community to read, start funds to help members of your community pay rent, whatever it is just do it, do not wait for the mouthpiece of some billionaire to promise it for you.

Obviously policy has massive impacts on our everyday lives, but we have to understand when policy negatively impacts us, using those systems to advocate for ourselves has never and  will never be effective.