There are several things which appear to be unrelated to this issue but are all contributing parts to this whole problem.
Having a big government system. Big government allows for lobbyists to come in and corrupt the system. If big government does not exist and a governments only role in life is to ensure that rights and liberty is preserved then there can be no lobbyist influence in the first place. Its only that the government has become so vast and corruptible that big corporate interests can get their foot in the door in the first place.
The need for vast amounts of cash. Money in politics really is disturbing as this gives smaller sections of society an unfair advantage when campaigning and turns the election process into a bidding war between who can buy the interests of politicians while at the same time forces politicians to pander their manifestos towards the big special interest groups - rather than having the outcome of an election be determined by the substance of the candidates policy views.
There are plenty of politicians out there who have the right ideas, just they are marginalised by media which is also corrupted by big financial industries.
Which brings me to the mass media. A good documentary on this issue in general is Orwell Rolls in His Grave, which discusses the way that the media's roll was redefined by the FCC and essentially perverts the whole notion of the whole purpose of mass media. "A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both." comes to mind here.
The hijacking of the tax payers money to fund wars the people do not support. The majority of the money spent on the war has stayed in America, only you don't have it any more and a small group of war profiteers do. The government just pays your tax dollars to war profiteers and large corporations who are players in the military industrial complex. It's not like people couldn't have seen this coming, President Eisenhower did warn about it in his farewell address. But again this plays into the idea of big government and how useful it is in practice. While the country has gone bankrupt the war profiteering racket has made trillions of dollars, and we paid for it. Just as Voltaire once said "In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other." This is your 'war on terror' in action.
Finally, the slow but steady eroding of liberty as mentioned above with various acts like the Patriot Act, combined with the general apathy of the population has allowed this to get to where we are today. Sure people are angry now and movements like Occupy highlight the general sense of frustration felt across the world with the current state of affairs, but at the same time can we be honest with ourselves for one moment and cast our minds back to only 5 years ago, before the housing credit meltdown, where money was being thrown about left, right and centre and the majority of people, probably yourself and myself included didn't give a flying fuck about any of the above because the good times were rolling.
The point is, liberty should be defended by all of us, all of the time, not just sometimes, or when it personally affects us. It reminds me of the old saying 'First they came'
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.