Friday, January 22, 2010

Come On, Supreme Court!

I am a little less than happy about the Supreme Court's recent decision to eliminate all corporate caps on political donations.  Frankly, campaign financing disgusts me.  I first went to college devoted to pursuing a career in politics and in my very first semester, I endured a lecture on campaign financing and political action committees (PACs) and left the class feeling nauseated.  And then I switched my major.  It is just ludicrous. 

We're talking millions and millions of dollars coming from people and organizations who pretend that they are all into making the world better, when really all they want is to get the person elected who will give them the most power.  If they were really interested in reform, they would stop spending on commercials slandering their political enemies and donate some of those millions to reputable nonprofit organizations, to food aid, to scholarship funds, or to public schools, just to name a few places.  There needs to be spending caps in place, otherwise politicians will keep hunting down more and more and more dollars to waste just so that they will have as many or more signs and commercials as their opponents.  If we set a limit, there wouldn't be this huge grubbing race for fruitless donations.

The 2008 Presidential Elections turned out to be the election with the most money spent in history.  Barack Obama alone raised nearly $140,000,000.00!  We may as well have used all the money collected for the election to finance the bailouts and to lessen the national debt, at least that would have done something for the country.  I would be fine if Congress sent out circulars (like the local governments do for elections on propositions, judges, etc.) where there are the names of people running, their platforms, and their plans to put their goals into action.  Isn't that why we vote anyway?  To show which policies we want implemented, not because we were most convinced by candidate X's dashing smile and catchy jingle?  How much would that cost?  A lot for printing the circulars for everyone, but it could be done on cheap paper.  A little to hire people to write it, but cheaper than hiring speech writers, media consultants, makeup artists, graphic designers, videographers, etc.  And you would not have to rent facilities for rallies, print signs, print bumper stickers, buy commercial air time, make commercials, blah blah blah.

I like Obama, but I will tell you a secret, I did not vote for him.  Want to know why?  Its because I did not agree with how his campaign was run- yes, this stuff really means a lot to me!  He was portrayed as an idol, he was marketed like a teen super star.  His campaigning focused on his image, not on his policies.  It was more important that he was black than how he was going to get us out of a recession.  No one knew his stances or policies, all they knew was he was a good dresser and that they had warm fuzzies whenever his commercials came on.  People rallied around the words "Hope" and "Change" without really knowing what that had to do with Obama at all.  That's not how politics should be.  We elect officials to responsibly govern, not to look good on a postage stamp. 

I guess that's all for now, I'm sure I will have more to say on this soon.

Check out this really cool site about the 2008 Election financing: Super Cool Site!


Kelli said...

OOOh, could not agree more. Way, way too much money spent on drivel and uselessness. It seems like we are heading towards politics for the stupid masses. It is sad that the electorate is viewed a dopey group who just need to see a bit of glitz and will follow whatever or whoever is selling it. I am afraid though that they may be closer to the truth than I wish to admit. We are too busy watching you-tube to understand the long term consequences of our voting or non-voting actions. love you!

Kelli said...

dad said it won't make that much of a difference in how much money is given because groups just make new PAC's to give more money.