And we suckers walk! Anyone who even occasionally checks current events knows how much money is spent on presidential elections. Each new cycle breaks the previous record, and on and on. Well, the ‘buck’ (no pun intended) doesn’t stop there. The total cost of running for A) President, B) Senator and C) House Representative in the 2016 cycle reached $6.5 Billion! How many roads and bridges could have been fixed and renovated for that money? Let’s look at the Congressional winners in previous election cycles: In 2008 the winners of House seats spent on average $1.1 million. The winners of Senate seats spent on average $6.5 million. Moving on to the 2012 cycle and the numbers jumped to $1.6 million and $10.4 million respectively. Now this was candidates running as either Republican or Democrat… not 3rd Party. Do you think a 3rd Party candidate would ever have a chance? I still have that bridge in Brooklyn for sale if you think so.
Things are so regressed that all the news talk shows always refer to election races, mostly close ones in the polls, to how much money each candidate has raised… hardly ever about issues. Of course, on the always forgotten issues of military spending and foreign policy, the Two Party/One Party duopoly agree more than not. When a libertarian or true progressive candidate are the only folks speaking of that horror… no one can hear them! Why? They are hardly on the boob tube, in person or through campaign ads.
No money! Boy, the Fat Cats who run this empire have it down to a science: Keep the duopoly powerful and never give the suckers an even break, as in the 2008 election regarding health care. You see, Obama sounded sincere about wanting Medicare for All and a ‘Public Option’ giving we suckers under 65 a chance to have what senior citizens have (by paying in of course, but less than the private insurer way). Those of us who looked beyond the hype and spin knew that his opponent McCain received around $7+ million from the health care industries, while Mr. Hope and Change got…. over $21 million! And what we suckers got was ObamaCare, which was another way of saying that the private insurance industry got tens of millions of new customers, with high deductibles and co pays.
Bottom line: The only hope for this Republic to become what they say we already are, but are not, a democracy, is to have Total public funding of ALL elections. I don’t care if it is for dogcatcher, NO private money in elections! Period! Oh, they say we cannot do that due to the 1976 Supreme Court ruling in Buckley vs. Valeo. The court ruled against laws that restricted private money in elections, citing that ‘Money is free speech’. Really? Maybe they should have stated it as it is: The super rich have lots of free speech. Well, as former Senator Bill Bradley once said: “We have many amendments to the Constitution, why not one more?” Folks, sit back and watch another election cycle go by and see how big money runs the show. If working stiffs out there, regardless of labeling themselves as conservative or progressive, stop supporting this decayed electoral system….
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Philip A Farruggio is a son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He has been a free lance columnist since 2001, with over 400 of his work posted on sites like Global Research, Greanville Post, Off Guardian, Consortium News, Information Clearing House, Nation of Change, World News Trust, Op Ed News, Dissident Voice, Activist Post, Sleuth Journal, Truthout and many others. His blog can be read in full on World News Trust, whereupon he writes a great deal on the need to cut military spending drastically and send the savings back to save our cities. Philip has a internet interview show, ‘It’s the Empire… Stupid’ with producer Chuck Gregory, and can be reached at [email protected].