The real influencers of US elections are not Russians

There is plenty of real collusion in Washington, but it has little to do with Russia.  It's the unholy alliance between lobbyists and politicians that has caused the most damage to America's democracy.  Lobbyists and special interest groups openly try to influence our elections for their own gain to the detriment of the country and yet there has never been an investigation.

It has taken decades of decay to get the swamp as muddy and slimy as it is today.  It's an old story that has gone on for far too long, where candidates seeking office, if not independently wealthy, rely heavily on campaign contributions to run successful races for congressional seats.  Big business and special interest groups who primarily are concerned with their bottom line hold the purse strings to the massive amounts of cash needed to win elections.  Hence, ethical compromises and implied favors are the norm before the first ballot has been cast.  

It's a mutually beneficial marriage between lobbyists and candidate, leaving the American citizen in a basket abandoned on the steps of the Capitol.  The end result is a swamp filled with corrupt politicians who at one time may have had good intentions but, in their desire to win their elections, have sold their souls.  And then there are those politicians who don't need incentives to destroy the country.  Their misguided ideologies are all they need to steer this country to ruin.

For the first time in many decades, those opposed to the founding principles of this republic and the freedoms Americans enjoy have been forced to stand in the light.  The attacks on President Trump are clear indicators of who makes up the swamp and just how thick the swamp is.  If we are ever to entirely free this nation from the quicksand pulling this nation down, then we must confront and end the power and influence the lobbyists and the special interest groups have over our election process. 

Rick Hayes is a New York City-based freelance writer and photojournalist with over 25 years' experience in covering local and national politics.  Hayes has received awards for his work and has covered such political figures as President Donald Trump, former president Bill Clinton, and New York's Rudy Giuliani, to name only a few.

Image: Keith Bacongco via Flickr.

There is plenty of real collusion in Washington, but it has little to do with Russia.  It's the unholy alliance between lobbyists and politicians that has caused the most damage to America's democracy.  Lobbyists and special interest groups openly try to influence our elections for their own gain to the detriment of the country and yet there has never been an investigation.

It has taken decades of decay to get the swamp as muddy and slimy as it is today.  It's an old story that has gone on for far too long, where candidates seeking office, if not independently wealthy, rely heavily on campaign contributions to run successful races for congressional seats.  Big business and special interest groups who primarily are concerned with their bottom line hold the purse strings to the massive amounts of cash needed to win elections.  Hence, ethical compromises and implied favors are the norm before the first ballot has been cast.  

It's a mutually beneficial marriage between lobbyists and candidate, leaving the American citizen in a basket abandoned on the steps of the Capitol.  The end result is a swamp filled with corrupt politicians who at one time may have had good intentions but, in their desire to win their elections, have sold their souls.  And then there are those politicians who don't need incentives to destroy the country.  Their misguided ideologies are all they need to steer this country to ruin.

For the first time in many decades, those opposed to the founding principles of this republic and the freedoms Americans enjoy have been forced to stand in the light.  The attacks on President Trump are clear indicators of who makes up the swamp and just how thick the swamp is.  If we are ever to entirely free this nation from the quicksand pulling this nation down, then we must confront and end the power and influence the lobbyists and the special interest groups have over our election process. 

Rick Hayes is a New York City-based freelance writer and photojournalist with over 25 years' experience in covering local and national politics.  Hayes has received awards for his work and has covered such political figures as President Donald Trump, former president Bill Clinton, and New York's Rudy Giuliani, to name only a few.

Image: Keith Bacongco via Flickr.