I am reprinting Mr. Reich's very wise and apt reference to the Page and Gilens Study (and its revelations) because it flies in the face of all those commentators who insist that the pubic doesn't care. They take--as evidence--what is kept OFF the radar and OUT of policy and blame those fighting for these important things FOR the corruption (in the form of empowered Establishment Forces) that works assiduously to prevent any genuinely positive changes from taking place:
"A study published in the fall of 2014 by Princeton professor Martin Gilens and Northwestern’s Benjamin Page reveals the scale of the challenge.
"Gilens and Page analyzed 1,799 policy issues in detail, determining the relative influence on them of economic elites, business groups, mass-based interest groups, and average citizens.
"Their conclusion: “The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically nonsignificant impact upon public policy.”
"Instead, lawmakers respond to the moneyed interests – those with the most lobbying prowess and deepest pockets to bankroll campaigns.
"It’s sobering that Gilens and Page’s data come from the period 1981 to 2002, before the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to big money in its “Citizens United” and “McCutcheon” decisions. Their study also predated the advent of super PACs and “dark money,” and even the Wall Street bailout.
"If average Americans had a “near-zero” impact on public policy then, their impact is now zero."
So, when Judy Woodruff lies to listeners insisting that the public didn't want a single payer health care system... it's bogus.
And when pro-surveillance outfits and/or the MIC argue that citizens WANT to be spied on and support everything from torture to foreign wars of aggression, these are specious arguments.
Big Brother writes policy and AFTER THE FACT decrees that it's what citizens "must have wanted" because that's what exists. It's a new version of "Divine Right of King."