Editor’s Note: This post was submitted by my father-in-law (and faithful Chronicle reader) Lee Tallman. All comments on this post will be forwarded to him.
During the period of the Roman Empire, gladiatorial contests and executions were held in the coliseum. Their purpose was to entertain the public, and divert its attention from the activities of the government. Today, in the United States, the attention of the public is diverted by the public battles between the Republican and Democratic parties. As in ancient Rome, the contests today have little to do with the activities of government.
The government of the United States serves the interests of important industries: insurance and banking, pharmaceuticals and agriculture, energy and defense (collectively the small businesses about which politicians are so passionate.) These industries provide the promotional campaigns that ensure the election of favored candidates. Members of both political parties participate. Successful candidates are expected to support legislation that is favorable to sponsoring industries. Lobbying organizations provide second careers for retiring politicians.