A good part of any “major” party (meaning “entrenched and corrupt”) campaign is hurling and repulsing the attack that “corporate money” or “out of state contributors” have bought off the candidate. Fair enough; we all know the problem of money in politics. Yet politicians know that’s what we vote for, so they take the money and run anyway. And sure enough, we vote for them anyway.
OK, that’s what we want, apparently. We do vote for it over and over and over and over….
But especially irritating to me personally, is when journalists hurl the “not enough money to be competitive” grenade. So a good part of any “third party” campaign is wasted trying to gain the imprimatur of legitimacy offered by all that we hate about politics.
We try to tell voters we “mean to win” when elections aren’t even about candidates; they’re about voters. We try to raise money in order to get the “free media” exposure obtained by attaching corrupting strings to the candidate. We try to become, in other words, just like the fancy pants parties so that we’ll be treated to the same respect and electoral success as those evil monstrosities.
What in the world is that all about? Are we to feign upset about the obscene, corrupting money in campaigns, and then wallow in it, and point to the pathetic challengers who “can’t raise enough money?” Are we to demand a truly level playing field …in which all campaigns are corrupt from the start?
Or, could we perhaps undergo the long-due epiphany that the playing field is not at all level, and that the candidates who should enjoy the greatest advantage are those without strings attached, who stand for something, and who are actually candidates for public service, not Caesars in waiting.
Remember, the corporate giants who contribute to Big Party campaigns expect, and get, special deals for their investments. Ordinary folks who contribute to Big Party campaigns probably don’t know how much of their tax money already goes to these parties, and have believed what they’ve been told about “reality,” “pragmatism” and their “wasted vote.”
Who, on the other hand, is willing to pay for a level playing field? Who will reach into their own wallets and/or time to do what is right, as opposed to “playing the game?”
In all the years I’ve been watching, I’ve seen only one candidate who is worth more than a puddle of spit raise “enough money to be competitive,” and that is Ron Paul. In my lifetime (50 years and counting), he’s the first guy to actually stand for something and raise huge stacks of cash.
It could be that others, like me, are just lousy at fundraising. OK, that’s a distinct possibility.
But if people who stand for constitutions possess an unfortunate, perhaps genetic inability to raise money, what would you rather have? An evil dictator who knows how to campaign, or a great public servant who just can’t put on a show like that? Would you prefer a great politician/ bad candidate, or a great candidate/ deadly politician?
Well, think about an analog in any other area of life. If you need a delicate, life-saving surgery, would you prefer a skilled surgeon who may have a speech impediment, but has a brilliant surgucal success record; or would you choose a handsome actor who can’t hold a scalpel, but delivers inspiring lines with poise and pathos?
Is this really that hard?
Once again, the choice is yours.