The Fallacy of Campaign Financing
At the writing of this column, it is a well-known fact that a billionaire from New York is trying to buy the presidency. His well-financed strategy is such that he is able to circumvent the heavy lifting of the smaller primaries while the other candidates are slugging it out visiting small-town gatherings, shaking hands in diners and walking the streets letting the folks get to know them.
Instead, Michael Bloomberg has chosen to stand above the sweaty fray and buy expensive adds on the Super Bowl and the Daytona 500 and flood the length and width of the nation with television commercials that sing his praises and promises of what he could do for America.
And despite the fact that he condescended to appear in a Nevada debate, he is, for all practical purposes, putting all his huevos in one basket, depending on his great wealth to garner enough delegates on Super Tuesday when a third of all delegates are awarded in a single day, to at least make him relevant at the Democratic National Convention.
He has made the statement that he is willing to spend a billion dollars if it is necessary in his quest to be the Democrat nominee.
While there is not a candidate in the Democrats stable that I feel is up to the task of being president and not one I feel, if given the chance and the funds, would not do the same thing as Bloomberg, I ask you, is it fair for one of the richest men in America to - for all intents and purposes - buy the nomination for the most powerful position in the free world?
And another issue comes into play. The Democratic Party knows that everybody in their present slate of candidates is much too far to the left to garner enough votes in the general election to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and Michael Bloomberg may be as close to a moderate candidate as they can come this year, in my humble opinion the Democrats, being the loyal bunch they are, will turn their backs on the candidates who have slogged it out on the front lines and turn to the interloper who they will view as their savior.
If I had to bet the ranch on the outcome of the Democrat nomination, I would have laid all my chips on Bloomberg, before the debate, anyway.
If it’s not Bloomberg, I will rejoice because I’m pulling for Bernie Sanders to run as he is the one who will show the world just how much of a Bolshevik he really is and how far to the extreme left the Democrats have drifted and get this question of socialism settled, at least for the foreseeable future.
Now, to the real subject of this column, the unfairness of campaign financing and the rabid resistance of politicians of both parties to address it.
When a man like Michael Bloomberg, just because he is super-rich and won’t miss a meal or even have to sell a G5 to spend a billion dollars on running for president, there is something wrong with the system.
Also, the big donors who contribute to the campaigns of congressmen, Senators, Governors and all stripes of politicians have unfettered access to their offices and ask and receive favors throughout their tenures, while John Q can do nothing but suffer the consequences.
If you think it doesn’t happen you are totally naive, in fact, crony indebtedness follows some politicians from local office into the State House of Capitol Hill.
There has to be a better way, a fairer way, a more equitable way, a simpler and honest way that would level the playing field and eliminate the mile-wide loopholes whereby individuals and corporations deliver cash to a candidate.
I am not good at mathematics or savvy to the procedures necessary to eliminate the excessive giving and undue influence it buys, but a group of patriotic and nonpartisan scholars and lawyers could sit down in a room, identify the problems and recommend solutions in short order, because the problem areas are glaring.
How about a cap on how much a candidate can spend of their personal fortune in a campaign?
How about a cap on how much an individual or business could contribute by any means, PACs and other backroom entities notwithstanding?
And as the system was inspected bit by bit I’m sure other devious methods of buying influence could be identified.
I really don’t know how to go about it, but there are plenty of people out there who could overhaul the campaign contribution system resulting in a much leveler playing field, or at least prevent the buying of the highest office in our nation.
Personally, even if he should buy the nomination I don’t believe Bloomberg has the charisma, stamina or vision to beat Donald Trump, but the fact that this man, who through nothing but the power of money, could even show up in the polls should be enough to scare the hell out of America.
What do you think?
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— Charlie Daniels
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