PRIOR POSTINGS

Spirit of Christmas
     The list of gross cognitive failings continually assimilated by the bulk of the population is too lengthy to tabulate, much less correct.  Nonetheless, in the spirit of "It is better to light a single candle, than to curse the darkness", I shall attempt to illuminate some of the more blatant and widely held foibles.  The task is far too hopeless to bother with any sort of systematic approach.  Instead, I shall simply expound upon whatever topic occupies my passion of the moment.  Be sure to return to this page regularly, for further enlightenment.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REBORN
or Stop me before I Vote Again

     Campaign finance reform (CFR) is a political proposition which has achieved immortality.  It enjoys reverence reserved for divine beings, that of inherent righteousness.  No elected official dares question if CFR should be done.  The debate is entirely over the manner in which it should be imposed.  The most cynical among the citizenry believe that the corrupt and greedy legislature continue to pontificate over nuance as pretext to inaction.  All of which ignores the single relevant point;
Campaign Finance Reform is Wrong-headed to begin with.
CFR if wrong-headed for two reasons, one is pragmatic and the other is ideological.

The practical reason to oppose all forms of CFR, becomes compelling when one recognizes this simple fact;  Power and money are synonymous.  It is simply not possible to extract money from power.  No matter what rules are adopted for the running of political races, money will find a way around the rules.  The ability to command large sums of money, by definition, belongs to the established power brokers.  The first goal of any organization, is to ensure it's own preservation.  And once their continued existence is ensured, the powerful will seek to extend their power.  Attempting to prevent the powers that be from exercising that power can only result in utter failure.  Those with the means to do so, will first attempt to subvert the spirit of the law while adhering to it's letter.  If however, the law should be so constructed as to present too great an obstacle, money will simply change hands in direct violation of the law.  Therefore any meaningful CFR actually enacted will necessarily result in even greater corruption.

More important than the impossibility of effective CFR is that it is a fundamentally misguided idea.  The premise of CFR is that the big bad and well funded special interests are buying elections, and the elected politicians, with all their dirty money.  But CFR is not the cure to this disease.  IF YOU DON'T WANT THE SPECIAL INTERESTS TO BUY YOUR VOTE, DON'T SELL IT TO THEM!  Don't like politicians who are in the pocket of the financial angles?  Then stop voting for them!  The problem is not the way political campaigns are run, the problem is the way we vote.  Democracy does not deliver the best government to the people.  Democracy delivers the government the people deserve.  The lions share of money spent on campaigns is spent on pithy television ads.  We vote with less reflection (even if sometimes with more passion) than we buy footwear.  And our politicians are sold to us the same way soft drinks are.  If we were an introspective, intelligent, informed electorate, a candidate could successfully court our vote with nothing more than a comprehensive well maintained web site.  A few thousand dollars, a few dozen volunteers, and a lot of well reasoned, well articulated, ideas and positions is all that would be needed, even for a national election.  Let's face it, the mud-slinging, sound-bitten, in-your-face campaign aimed at voters with an average third grade mentality, is inevitable.  However much we protest it is still what we respond to most.

We have only ourselves to blame for the disgusting way politicians run for office, and the more we try to lay the blame at the feet of one or another bogeyman, the further we will sink into the filth.

HOME | BUBBA | AUTHOR | JUGGLING | FEYNMAN | RANTS | LINKS