Posts Tagged ‘Special Interests’

Fire! Fire! Where’s the Fire!

November 30, 2011

Fire ! Fire! Where’s the Fire?

by Jon Foyt

The old adage is: Don’t yell Fire! in a crowded place. Well, that’s exactly what I’m doing: Yelling Fire! in this crowded place of the United States of America. For Fire is raging everywhere and consuming everything in sight and mind. What Fire? This FIRE:
It is the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sectors, known as FIRE in campaign finance jargon, according to Joe Garofoli writing in The San Francisco Chronicle.
FIRE is omnipresent in today’s political world, for it is the money given from these corporate sectors to candidates and office holders that is, dare we say “buying” the democratic process? This moneyed force is the beneficiary of a sell-out, making this force without doubt the most highly influential force in America today. Or is it?
You may ask: what about that good old American “grass roots’ force most of us all grew up with and came to admire as the backbone of this country’s democracy? Certainly popular opinion is still there, still at work, still a force. But what of the darkening shadow blowing in overhead, having emanated from corporate boardrooms, corporate treasurer’s offices on Wall Street and other denizens of American Capitalism?
Now, we all love capitalism. It’s America’s answer to world poverty, world turmoil, world trade, word finance and all the other worldly things. And so do those men and women running America’s corporations love capitalism. And aren’t they the ones who now seem to be running America’s elections by imposing their financial influence on every candidate through gifts. They’re not stuffing envelopes and licking stamps like we used to do in political campaigns. They’re financing the candidates.
Consider these situations if you yearn to run for public office, even today. What’s the first thing, or for sure the second thing you must do to jumpstart your political campaign for office? Raise money? Right? And where do you go. Well, after brother Joe and Aunt Matilda have been milked, and you still haven’t enough dough to pay for one little newspaper advertisement, you go your local neighborhood, or your distant Wall Street corporation and ask for a campaign donation. Just like you’ve heard the Supreme Court says they can make—just like Joe and aunt Matilda did. The corporation replies with “sure,” so long as you echo our side of the story, help us get our favorite earmarks passed, support the paying of our corporate bonuses, bail us out with your tax dollars when we bumble around and make big mistakes, and then save us from failing, for as everyone knows we’re too big to fail. Don’t you agree?
Oh, and by the way, don’t you think personal income taxes, as well as corporate income taxes, should be lowered? Yes, on our evaluation of your campaign—which political party did you say you are affiliated with? Makes no difference to us for we see that you have nodded your head affirmatively on nine out of the ten issues we’ve been telling you about. Haven’t you? Well then, Ms. or Mr. Candidate, here’s our check for your campaign and an engraved plaque suitable for framing that proclaims: “I, (Your name calligraphed here) am a certified friend of FIRE.”
Jon Foyt, a Rossmoor published novelist, posts his Blog at and can be contacted at