While other authors decide to write books attacking a certain political groups, Lawrence Lessig is not this type of author. Lessig is a professor at Stanford law school and Center for Ethics at Harvard University. In Republic Lost, Lessing begin she’s book stating a gallap poll that 87% of Americans have lost hope in our democracy. This is something that our founding fathers would have not liked since they originally wanted a government for the people. Even though many people believe that corruption has become a problem in this generation, in reality, it has been an issue for much longer. This distrust in Congress due to corruption can be explained by a very simple belief that, “He who holds the gold makes the rules” unfortunately, Congress has shown to be influenced by money instead of focusing on the greater good of the American people.
The third part of the book talks about how our current system is corrupt. Today congressmen and senators live on a lavish lifestyle that goes beyond their salary, through money and “gifts” given. Let just look on how much money is contributed towards elections. “Between 1974 and 2008 the average amount it took to run for reelection to the house went from 56,000 to more than 1.3 million” (Lessig). . To know full understand what is happening one needs to go to back in history.
For the first time since 1954, the republican party took controlled of both the house and the Senate in 1994. This of course was a long awaited dream for the party. This occurrence caused the Democrats and Republicans to fight in order to obtain control in the seat. From this battle, a “Fund-raising Congress was born” (Lessig). Republicans during this time had received amounts close to 1 million dollars between 1994-1998 . The reason was that who ever collected the most money ended up the seat house. The bad thing about this is that at the same time of getting a lot of money they would give out favors to those who donated. This caused a problem that honest politicians became rotten because the most important thing to do is to find money for your party.
What happened to the Democrats during this time? They became more pro-business. President Bill Clinton even supported a bipartisan decision to deregulate derivatives in Wall Street.. Clearly, when it came to greed, it was not only an issue with the Republican or Democratic party, but like Dan Carson wrote “The Country ..Has just one: the money party” (Lessig). According to a book written about the politican Senator Max Bauscus, data shows that between the dates of 2003-2008 most of the contributions amounts obtained from the financial and health care industry were given to the Republican Party. He collected over 5 million dollars, the same industries that he was suppose to regulate. In contrast there is Democratic Senator John Stennis who was asked to hold a fundraiser where contractors will be present what was his response? “I hold life and death over those companies. I don’t think it would be proper for me to take money from them. (Lessig) This clearly shows how Stennis knew that it was unethical to take money from those he was trying to regulate. Senator Hagel even commented how it was getting to the “edge of legal standards” (Lessig) when it came to money given to Congress.
Lobbyist have now become the man contributors to campaign elections. ? Even though it lobbying seems to be more relevant today, lobbying has actually been around since the President Grant. In the past, lobbyists would entice leaders with money expensive wine and even women. Now, our leaders are seen having “bags of cash that lobbyists would give them” (Lessig). Also