The Week has a round-up of the trouble we've faced and the news that it's just beginning. Most startling? Well, we may have lost our political parties to big money already.
Here's how it's done.
Campaign finance reform once promised the end of big money influence in politics. The McCain-Feingold campaign finance law put an end to “soft money,” the large donations made to political parties by interest groups which could then be doled out to individual candidates. But a series of court decisions weakened the law and gave rise to “Super PACs” which now control the big money instead of the political parties. These independent organizations typically have much narrower agendas than the national parties. ...TheWeek
If I read that right, money cabals no longer need to court the party of their choice with serial contributions. They're setting up different systems to make sure their agenda is adopted. Such as? Well, ALEC. The US Chamber of Commerce. Wall Street, for god's sake. And let us not forget: the media, however fragmented it seems.
For decades Americans received their news from three evening newscasts. Each of the television networks competed for the biggest viewing audience across the entire country. The strategy required newscasts to at least try to be politically neutral to appeal to the most people. This changed with the advent of cable television and then accelerated as the Internet fragmented the news audience into even more narrow audiences. Being neutral is now considered a losing strategy for building a news audience on the Internet. ...TheWeek
Don't think you're immune. We all buy in. We are all "microtargeted." Our smart phones, our tablets, our laptops all tie us to The System, sometimes with the help of harvesters like NSA, Google, Microsoft...
Though we could stop being microtargets...