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Get The Money Out Of Politics

Updated on June 28, 2014

Money Talks

Politics in its purest form is the exchange of ideas pertaining to how the national and local governments should be run and developing and implementing policy (laws) that reflect a particular philosophy based on an ideological standpoint.

At the outset of American governance the founding settlers engaged in vigorous debate

as to how the new nation should proceed.

As strategies were explored and discussed among the participants certain men gained a reputation for their oratorical and policy skills. In doing so they acquired support among their localities and when time came to elect officials to govern they were selected as candidates for elected positions.

This process was politics in its purest form: officials representing their locality voted into office based on their qualifications and popularity.

Today’s political process has a much different tone and quality to it. In modern times the candidate who can raise the most money and effectively convince his constituents that they are qualified will most likely be elected whether they are qualified or not.

The intrusion of campaign financing has totally changed the landscape of American politics and rules supreme in determining who will be elected.

Modern campaign finance laws allow for super PACs (political action committees) to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to a political candidate anonymously creating an environment where a special interest group or private corporation can literally “buy” a candidate and promote their own interest through political policy.

Limiting the amount that super PACs can contribute and the total amount that a candidate can receive in campaign funding would help to return political elections to their original format of electing the most qualified candidate.

The astronomical amount of campaign funding that goes into political elections has diluted the quality of politics and reduced it to a “highest bidder takes all” event.

In 2008 $5.3 billion was spent on federal elections with $1 billion of that being spent by the two presidential candidates running for office.

These numbers point to the fact that there is too much money being injected into political elections.

How about returning to the days when presidential candidates were limited to using the funds available from taxpayers who checked the election contribution fund box on their tax return form?

That would certainly get us back to “may the best man win”.

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    • profile image

      Sanxuary 

      4 years ago

      Your last writer with a comment is unaware that 75 percent of all money comes from corporations on a street called K street in Washington DC. The money they spend is not in your state and all your so called Representatives are bought and chosen. Really, you our wasting pennies on your elected officials, no amount you can spend is worth giving them. They only need your vote and everything else is already paid for. The majority of Americans can not buy the representation by your elected officials. That is why we have Corporations who pay no taxes, ship your jobs over seas, off shore bank accounts and slave wages. I actually determined that losing can win. A pro Democracy movement regardless of if it ever succeeded would force this country to the middle. Imagine a demand to move towards Democracy and the end to a Republic. To achieve that would require true Representation. A change in what it takes to be elected, a change in the financing of elections and a change in taxes. A third party alone would move us towards the center and it requires no success in terms of seeking the top positions. There are a lot of good elected officials who tell you that money has destroyed the reason to be elected and the ideals of Public Service. I only wish such a movement would happen. Then again what would be bad if we did become a true Democracy?

    • TonyDan profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Daniels 

      4 years ago from Toledo, Ohio

      As always there are exceptions to the rule but for the most part money spent pretty much dictates the outcome of modern elections. Many qualified candidates drop out of campaigns due to a lack of funding essentially conceding the election to a possibly inferior candidate.

    • profile image

      retief2000 

      4 years ago

      You would have had a much stronger case if not for the defeat of Eric Cantor, a clear demonstration that the will of the electorate is paramount, not the dollars.

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