Wow, that was very educational for me, particularly your second paragraph. Thank you.
I would like to train all people to think of the government as the people’s collective effort to maintain an American standard of living for everyone (however that may look over time) and to be our collective protection from the other most powerful entities in our country, corporations. I would like people to learn how to follow the money when electing leaders in government. Corporations are allowed to worry about their own profit first because that is their purpose, but we should not elect government officials who take in massive donations and other perks, or who have huge personal financial stakes in corporations. That is an inherent conflict of interest. The Republicans I talk to (and I admit that I know very few as I have always lived in or near big cities), think of tax money as simply lining the pockets of bureaucrats who wastefully manage it, which is a legitimate concern because currently the aforementioned conflicts of interest are the status quo in Congress. My argument is always that WE have the power to elect those people. It is our job to vet them and make sure they are not corrupt to the best of our abilities. But handing the reigns to corporate shills or business men who do the same thing but don’t fall under the category of “corrupt” since they are supposed to be working in self-interest, is not the solution. It worsens the problem and eliminates any entity that can hold rampant, murderous self-interest accountable. So I need people to learn that picking whoever has the most money when investing in the stock market or whatever is reasonable, but we should be looking for the polar opposite in all government officials. They should be like the rest of us — with more stakes in the physical world like health care and the environment and education and infrastructure, etc. than they have stakes in the financial world.