If this election has shown us anything, it’s that we were, and hopefully still are, open to many different options of government: the democratic socialism championed by Bernie Sanders; thinking of government like a business, like Trump does; lying somewhere in the middle, a la Gary Johnson. This is quite different from the all-too-typical campaigns where the two major parties compete, seeming like two slightly different permutations of the same principles, with their distinct ideological hallmarks they always tout.
As someone who is known, amongst my friends, for usually supporting some sort of socialist agenda, I surprisingly recognize there has to be a balance. Neither government or corporations should be allowed to have too much power/control. A government that is too big will inevitably lose its bearings and become tyrannical, like the failed communist governments of Asia, Latin America and Europe. Similarly, when corporations wield too much influence, bad things are likely to occur. Case-in-point: lobbyists. They’ve essentially purchased significant portions of our elected officials and our government! They’ve already caused so many problems, they’d cause more if they had the power to.
Corporations have been given tremendous liberties by being considered “people” now. Because of this, they can discriminate on religious grounds, like Hobby Lobby did. What’s next? Corporations getting to vote? They already do, by monetarily endorsing candidates. An elected official can be impeached and elections happen on a consistent basis. CEOs are harder to get rid of.
Long-in-short, government is not supposed to run like a business. They’re separate for a reason. Capitalism gave people “democratic freedoms,” financially speaking, while they suffered under a monarchy. But now, we have legitimate political democracy. Though the two can be compatible, this isn’t really the case in regards to their natural states. Government has forced businesses to comply to certain standards (minimum wage, health codes, unions); however, it’s not like government couldn’t benefit from taking a lesson or two from business. For instance, taking a more “customer service” approach to dealing with citizens. We should be assisted more so instead of being taken advantage of by the powers that be. Lobbyists perpetuate this problem. But we must remember: a government for the people, by the people. We must participate and vote! It’s a democracy after all.
What needs to happen is to allow for a sense of trust to be engendered between the government and the people. As citizens, we should be skeptical about how our government is running, but we shouldn’t immediately subscribe to conspiracy theories and the like. Recognizing how evil corporations can be is another thing too. People think the government puts mind-controlling chemicals in the water, without any basis in fact, while ignoring news reports of Nestlé trying to control the world’s water. Government should provide utilities and basic services to us because treating those things with a business mindset will only hurt everyone, because arrogant negligence is a side effect of solely striving for profit. We must realize change needs to happen, and that’s through a balance of the two, and a little more mediating from we, the people.