Up until 1998, I didn't give a flying flip about politics. Having a military career that spanned two decades, my job description was, in most part; this:
I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
And I don't care what you may feel about that in particular. That isn't the point here, but it's part of the whole, real environment that surrounded me for a profound period of my life.
So, in reality...my political bent was impotent.
It didn't matter at all what I thought or believed, from a political standpoint anyway. My current president told me what my political standpoint was at any given time. Much of that given time, I was expected to carry out the orders of my president by the most violent of means. A lot of people died while obeying said orders, so what I believed was irrelevant. The only thing that mattered was the accuracy of a soldier's rifle.
Unfortunately, holding and obeying orders for such a long period of time is a hard thing to shake. But let me tell you what did shake it. and it shook it down to its core, shattering into tiny shards and allowing my ideas and beliefs to take the fore.
In October of 1998, The Digital Millennium Copyright Act was passed by the Senate and began its journey to then President Bill Clinton's desk. From there it was signed and passed into law. What I found unsettling was the fact that I had heard little of the congressional back and forth of this issue. Why? Because the law was passed, comfortably snuggled inside a farm subsidy bill, during the wee hours of the morning. Congress knew better than to let this bill see the light of day and the scrutiny of the general public. If the public reaction to the recent SOPA legislation can be a benchmark, then the DMCA would have been a huge public concern in 1998.
But all of that only served to make me dig deeper into how our legal system works, and specifically in the House and the Senate, where the majority of laws are either born or die on the vine. I'm not particularly comfortable with this video's lack of citation, but if it can be taken at face value, this short presentation can explain in full, just what is wrong with out political system here in the US. It's a good starting point for young minds...it gives them a place of reference as they mature into young, and voting, adults. Scroll down to "Corruption is Legal in America.
It is well worth the few minutes you invest in watching.