How to fix this?
One thing is absolutely evident. That we need to change our system of government and elections.
One of the most important things we must do is remove the influence of corporate entities from government. That means enacting a system limiting that influence as much as possible. One study from Duke University showed that if more than 60% of Americans supported specific legislation, that had no impact on the legislation. Yet if major donors favored legislation, it passed (I believe) 90% of the time.
One of the best ways of doing this would be a grassroots movement for all elections, bottom to top, funded through taxes. Note that we already pay for our elections via profits to major corporations and the rich. Eliminate PAC’s completely. Equal funding for the top 3–4 parties, not two. Open primaries, open debates. Ranked choice voting. Paper trails for all elections. Eliminate fees to be placed on a ballot.
This removes the power money has over elected officials and allows candidates to run for office who are not already rich and connected. It stops elected officials from spending a full half of their working day on the phone begging for money from entities they will then be indebted to.
Place time limits on elected or highly appointed officials being able to take jobs as lobbyists for at least 5 years after leaving office.
Then we can work on making corporate lobbying a criminal offense for both lobbyist and lobbied official. Any discussions or agreements with corporate officials should be public record.