In contemporary American politics, there is a frequent use of the term coined “special interests groups”, or simply, “special interests”. In the United States of America, there are those who do not know what this is, those who do know what it is, and those who invent what they want it to be. Those who do know what special interests are, make up the minority in America, due to the fact that there is an invisible force of ignorance and perpetuation of that ignorance in a firm alliance that the right has made with middle America. Not that middle America is by definition, ignorant, it just has a tendency towards vulnerability to the outrageous claims and fictitious “facts” from right, for many reasons, which is a whole other debate. The right has essentially lied to the American People and poisoned this debate with misinformation and distortion.
Let’s set the record straight.
It is quite difficult to stamp a firm definition on vague political jargon, however, there are some things that simply aren’t vague. The term “special interest group” has had a specific context assigned to it over the past few decades in America to represent it as a kind of money hungry organization aimed at increasing its profits in our capitalistic society through any means necessary, including, and inclining towards political persuasion, even corruption. The American People clearly can see how an oil company or health insurance giant can be a special interest group, however, they are more frequently falling into the carefully orchestrated trap the right has set up for them to extend that definition to other factions. This sums up to be a new definition to what a “special interest group” really is. The right has literally tricked the mindset of the American People into thinking that something as uninterested in increased prosperity, even at the CORE of its fundamentals, let alone its practice, is indeed, a “special interest group”. For example, the right has redefined labor unions and its lobby as “special interests” in the context of money hungry, greed mongrels that thrive in a capitalistic democracy with a massive deficit in campaign finance regulation. Teachers’ unions, nurses’ unions, police unions, environmental groups, civil rights organizations, law firms for civil rights, animal rights groups, human rights groups, etc. ALL have been deemed as special interest groups by the right. Why? Because these groups overwhelmingly contribute to the political advancement of the left in the United States. What better of a way to tarnish the image of the left, than to deem its contributors as money hungry power gluttons who want to corrupt our public servants into becoming puppets for greedy financial gain. What is most disturbing, is that the right, which openly stands for deregulation, has created a smidgen of a leg to stand when it accepts money from big business under its banner of deregulated free enterprise. Although this seems monstrous to many, it is unfortunately consistent with it’s philosophy. However, this consistency shouldn’t be seen as noble, but as contentious corruption and wrongdoing. It is even more horrendous to realize that the right has the audacity to do this in the name of Americanism and liberty.
Sure, a nurses’ union is a group, with a special interest, which is protecting the workers’ rights of America’s dedicated nurses, but such a “group” is the astronomic antithesis, of say, an oil company like EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION. Although this difference is very real and apparent, the right will continue to pervert reality into a mold it see fit for its political gain. The condescending explanation of how a nurses’ union is a “special interest group” will be what is regurgitated from the mouth of a right winger when pressed on this intellectual dishonesty, so it is important that we must know how to combat that ridiculousness.
When a health insurance giant contributes money to the Republican Party, even the Democratic Party, they do so with a specific intention; that the faction they endorse and financial contribute to look out for their special interests in return. This is done through using political power to deregulate the health insurance industry, or block reform that might lower the outrageous profits the industry makes at the expense of its consumers.
The reason why American do not like “special interest groups” is because of their general immoral behavior. Their perpetuance towards increasing their profits by any means necessary is what makes them so hated by the American People, a united body of individuals that stands for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Labeling an environmental group or police union as “special interest” is intellectually dishonest. Although this genre of group has had its individual corruptions like any organization, their core and fundamentals remain uninterested in financial gain, rather in the advancement of their individual causes, whether it be a safer work environment for fishermen, fair wages for teachers, a cleaner environment, or even the conservative cause of protecting the institution of so called “traditional marriage”. The fact is that there is nothing wrong with a group’s right to participate in the political bubble just as long as their “special interest” doesn’t include financial gain doubled with an equal playing field of those whose “interests” consist of advancing specific causes.
There is no successful morality in unregulated capitalism, and there is no room for unregulated capitalism in a successful morality. Whether a group be about their own financial gain or a specific cause, there needs to be more regulation in campaign finance laws to ensure fairness. This is a debate that should be the main issue in American politics, because nothing can be done correctly and justly unless there are fair debates about the issues. A lack of regulation to enforce fairness with campaign financing creates an atmosphere of intellectual dishonesty. One of the ways we can start with correcting this problem is being honest about what a “special interest group” really is. If we assign, or have already assigned a context to what that political jargon is, then we owe it to ourselves to ensure we do not muddy the waters on what we’ve already established. It is terrible to trick folks into thinking ridiculous things, like the fact that a president is somehow corrupt because he/she accepted campaign funds from an organization that wants him/her to look out for their best interests, like ensuring a safe working environment for policemen. The American people should support and encourage campaign contributions from groups who look out for the best interests of the American People. The fact that the American right has perverted this debate is a travesty of epic proportion. We must be honest and we must be frank. The only way this country can be pulled out of the Neo-Conservative spell Ronald Reagan pioneered is to be honest with ourselves. If we as a people choose to remain ignorant to the reality of what is and isn’t true, then that is an action that will result in a consequence we will endure together, however, let’s not allow a malicious few make this decision for us. WE must individually make these decisions, and I firmly believe that if we do this, we will make it as a people. Our history has proven this to be true, and our ideals haven’t changed. The only way to keep our ideals firm is for us to remain honest with ourselves and with each other.