Back in the early 00s I used to play this game with my friends where we’d pick a random member of President Bush’s inner circle and see how many degrees they were from the Oil and Energy Industries. Condoleezza Rice, the African-American female professor of political science at Stanford; that dorky professor shouldn’t be connected? Sure enough, she sat on the board at Chevron Corporation. She even had an oil tanker named after her.
I found it interesting not because I thought Bush was a puppet or taking marching orders from lobbyists or any other dark conspiracy. What I did think is that working in an industry changes some of your habits towards how that industry functions, what are acceptable critiques and what are real problems that would need to be addressed by the public. The lobbyist doesn’t need to bribe you if you believe in his cause.
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