Monday, January 23, 2012

They are going to spend HOW MUCH?

Much of this morning, I had a Facebook conversation with a friend.  It was an extremely political conversation which I won't repeat here (huge sigh of relief, I'm sure).  I'm not a political writer and other than a couple of special friends, don't very often make my political views known publicly.  This is as close to a political blog as you are likely to see from me.

That said, this is a presidential election year (as if you haven't noticed).  Our president is running unopposed for re-election.  There is a circus on the other side although the candidates are slowly being winnowed down to those who have the most money to spend and the loudest bully pulpit.  It is likely this will be the most expensive presidential election ever and money is pouring into the coffers of the major candidates.  I know it's been announced that President Obama intends to spend 1 BILLION dollars on his campaign.  It's unlikely that the other side will spend much less.

I have never pledged or donated money to a political campaign.  The few candidates I have truly believed in I donated my time. If I had money to donate, it might be 5 or 10 dollars, if I felt really flush, it might be $50. But this year, I won't give a dime for sure.  Many will pass over their hard earned money and more power to them (I know a woman who will be donating at least $10k to Obama's re-election campaign). 

Considering the state of our economy. 2 billion dollars spent on political campaigns is despicable (haven't we recently heard that word in the media?).  I realize television and other advertising, street signs, transportation and organization all costs money.  But billions is an obscene amount of money.  How many of us will tune out those ads or change the channel?  By the time the election gets down to the nitty gritty, it's going to be just plain dirty.  We all know those billions will be spent mostly to attack the opposite candidate.  Couldn't that money be better spent elsewhere?  How can any candidate relate to the "typical" citizen when they are campaigning for a job that pays only a fraction of that yet are willing to put billions of dollars on the line to get that job?  What favors have to be repaid to the "biggies" in retribution for the big checks written?

1 Billion Dollars illustrated here on 12 pallets of $100 bills (ten MILLION of them)

I guess it all boils down to politics and politics is expensive.  I'm a little person and have to flip and flop and dance to the tunes played by those in power.   I don't like it but it's a fact of life.

I'm an Independent voter.  I vote for who I consider the best person for the job. I don't have a lot of faith in politicians.  But I do have faith in people and I have faith in America.


  1. Hear, hear, Larry! I'm also an independent (though I do lean one way and won't say which) for the same reason. I don't believe in voting a party line. And I also think the whole process has gotten completely out of hand. This is supposed to be the country where anyone can grow up to be president--but really it's any millionaire (or now billionaire). Sure cuts the field down a lot. And I hate partisan politics. The perception, true or false, that a moderate candidate can't get elected now is really hurting the electoral process and the eventual winner's chance of being able to accomplish anything. (PS: I love your illustrations here!)

  2. Elaine, in Oregon we independents can't vote in the primary elections, which is very unfortunate. A huge block of people in the primarily Democratic state are left unheard. I resent that.

    I had a thread on FB where I was advocating term limits and had several people counter that term limits would allow for "amateur politicians" to come in and be our lawmakers--my argument, over and over was "isn't that the way it's supposed to be?"

    Millionaire and Billionaires (not sure if there are any in Congress)are now the only people who can afford to play the political game. All the candidates running for office (on both sides) are millionaires at the very least. The majority of Senators are millionaires and a great number of Representatives are as well. Many have become that financially well-off since they became, on the backs of the American people. They, many little kings, have nothing in common with most of us. One, and I won't mention names, told an associate that although he was required to meet his constituents during the summer session he didn't enjoy doing it because "they smelled". Talk about arrogance.

    Moderates are electable if they can afford to play. It's unfortunate, though, that most of us are shut out of the process because we can't.


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