Yes, and we’re proud of it. According to a recent article by Greg Casey (full text below), President and CEO of The Business Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC), “Every American is part of one special interest or another, whether as a group or as an individual. The right to be a special interest is written into everyone\'s Constitutional right to petition government…” So don’t be afraid to ask your lawmakers to support the issues that matter most to you. One of the easiest ways to do it is by responding to eBay Main Street action alerts. Sign-up for Main Street today and stay informed of public policy matters that could impact your ability to trade on the site.
Fighting back, Part I: The right to be a special interest
By Greg Casey
I have long found comfort in Abraham Lincoln\'s admonishment to heed public opinion: "Public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed. Consequently, he who moulds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes." As was his way, it is simple yet profound. It gives us all hope.
Although most people understand that public sentiment is critical to the success of any policy, it is often overlooked in our highly charged and overtly partisan political environment. Whether blinded by ambition and power or driven by the conviction of their own personal agenda, some policy makers forget the power and prestige of their office is temporarily entrusted to them by those they represent. When the actions of those elected officials becomes contrary to the special interests of constituent groups, the latter has no alternative but to fight back. More often than not, that means shaping public opinion in ways unpleasant to the offending public official.
And yes – I said special interests. Every American is part of one special interest or another, whether as a group or as an individual. The right to be a special interest is written into everyone\'s Constitutional right to petition government – and that includes those who make a living by representing the interests of others.
Without special interests in a representative republic, the system simply couldn\'t function. The popular notion that there is something inherently corruptive about the special interests of those who conduct our nation\'s commerce and make a profit is particularly absurd and historically unfounded. So is this silly idea that lobbyists representing those special interests somehow have diminished rights to access the government. It\'s populism run amok. There is no cause more noble than providing jobs, especially now.
Certainly unethical behavior is unacceptable by any one at any time. Wrong is wrong regardless. But standing up for your own economic self interest is not wrong whether you are on the factory floor or you own the factory. We should not succumb to this trend toward imperial policy making. We should be proud we care enough to be involved; care enough to be a part of the representative process. We should all say, "We are proud to be a special interest." In fact, if enough of you care, I will make and send anyone wanting one a bumper sticker that says exactly that. That will really drive the purveyors of political correctness nuts.
If Abraham Lincoln is right, this will blunt this nation\'s rush to embrace the European economic and governing model. Although most politicians won\'t like it, that\'s when we know it\'s working.