Lobbying is the practice of influencing decisions made by government, whether by other legislators, constituents, or organised groups, often called "special interest-groups."
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- There are a lot of guys on both campaigns, on all the campaigns now, who do some very questionable lobbying on behalf of very questionable interests and do things that trouble me a whole lot more than a woman writing a book about masturbation.
- Susan Estrich, Hannity & Colmes (November 2, 1999).
- Lobbyists are in many cases expert technicians and capable of explaining complex and difficult subjects in a clear, understandable fashion. They engage in personal discussions with Members of Congress in which they can explain in detail the reasons for positions they advocate…. Because our congressional representation is based on geographical boundaries, the lobbyists who speak for the various economic, commercial, and other functional interests of this country serve a very useful purpose and have assumed an important role in the legislative process.
- John F. Kennedy, "To Keep the Lobbyist Within Bounds", The New York Times Magazine (February 19, 1956); reported in Congressional Record (March 2, 1956), vol. 102, p. 3802–3.
- If any of the great corporations of the country were to hire adventurers who make market of themselves in this way, to procure the passage of a general law with a view to the promotion of their private interests, the moral sense of every right-minded man would instinctively denounce the employer and employed as steeped in corruption, and the employment as infamous.
- The belief that the people of a democracy rule themselves through their elected representatives, though sanctified by tradition and made venerable by multiple repetitions, is actually mystical nonsense. In any election, only a percentage of the people vote. Those who can't vote because of age or other disqualifications, and those who don't vote because of confusion, apathy, or disgust at a Tweedledum-Tweedledummer choice can hardly be said to have any voice in the passage of the laws which govern them. Nor can the individuals as yet unborn, who will be ruled by those laws in the future. And, out of those who do "exercise their franchise," the large minority who voted for the loser are also deprived of a voice, at least during the term of the winner they voted against.
But even the individuals who voted and who managed to pick a winner are not actually ruling themselves in any sense of the word. They voted for a man, not for the specific laws which will govern them. Even all those who had cast their ballots for the winning candidate would be hopelessly confused and divided if asked to vote on these actual laws. Nor would their representative be bound to abide by their wishes, even if it could be decided what these "collective wishes" were. And besides all this, a large percentage of the actual power of a mature democracy, such as the U.S.A., is in the hands of the tens of thousands of faceless appointed bureaucrats who are unresponsive to the will of any citizen without special pull.
Under a democratic form of government, a minority of the individuals governed select the winning candidate. The winning candidate then proceeds to decide issues largely on the basis of pressure from special-interest groups. What it actually amounts to is rule by those with political pull over those without it. Contrary to the brainwashing we have received in government-run schools, democracy—the rule of the people through their elected representatives—is a cruel hoax!
Not only is democracy mystical nonsense, it is also immoral. If one man has no right to impose his wishes on another, then ten million men have no right to impose their wishes on the one, since the initiation of force is wrong (and the assent of even the most overwhelming majority can never make it morally permissible). Opinions—even majority opinions—neither create truth nor alter facts. A lynch mob is democracy in action. So much for mob rule.