In politics, people love to pretend they’re David battling ideological Goliaths. As a result, they often inflate the power an individual or group so that they appear to be almost impossible to defeat. In a way, this is smart. It hedges things so if they fail, it’s not incompetence or that the plan was really unpopular, it’s because the Goliath was just too powerful. If they win, they make it like they’ve accomplished something fantastic, even if the majority of the public backed the effort.
It’s all just a way to spin things.
However, Democratic candidate for president Andrew Yang has bought into the idea that the “gun lobby” is just too powerful and is convinced that his plan will defang the beast.
Yang proposed using his “democracy dollars” plan to counter the influence of the gun lobby in Washington.
The plan is to give each American voter $100 in publicly funded vouchers — earmarked for campaign donations only. He said that putting money in the hands of voters would shift the perspective of lawmakers on gun safety legislation who rely on campaign donations from industry lobbyists.
“That’s how we override the stranglehold the gun lobby has over our lives,” he said.
First, unless he completely eliminates private donations, he’s deluding himself that this would have any impact on much of anything. The powerful will continue to make whatever donations they want and then still gather these publicly-funded vouchers to add to their war chest. Honestly, nothing will change.
Second, Yang doesn’t understand where the “gun lobby’s” power actually resides.
The firearms industry is big business, to be sure, but not to the extent of things like the auto industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and so on. Comparatively, these are smaller companies that employ many fewer people and have much smaller profits than many other industries. They’re not huge multinational corporations with skyscrapers in every major city, unlike companies such as the major banks.
No, they’re fairly small.
As a result, they’re not making huge contributions to candidates. Even the NRA has been shown to actually donate a relatively small amount to candidates. There’s just not this huge gun lobby floating around dictating firearms policy to Congress.
Do you know what there is, though? There are a lot of Americans who are willing to make their strong opinions known on gun rights. They’d use those “Democracy Dollars” to fund the very candidates Yang is hoping to defeat. They’d also donate all the money they ordinarily would have anyway because, well, they can. So even more money will go to these candidates, thus negating what Yang thinks he’ll accomplish.
The “gun lobby,” if there really is such a beast, is the millions of freedom-loving Americans who refuse to give up ground on our Second Amendment rights.
Yang is out of his mind if he honestly thinks public money going to various candidates will somehow change that dynamic. It won’t.
Then again, what else do you expect from the party that seems bound and determined to make boogiemen out of law-abiding citizens who simply refuse to relinquish their rights on the say-so of politicians?