Wednesday, January 11, 2012

All That Money

Now that the election season is beginning, (as if it ever really ends), you'll hear more and more about "money in politics", who's got the biggest donors and how endorsements of candidates transfers into big money donations pouring in.

But why does it matter?

Who cares how much money a candidate can raise? Why should that translate into that candidate being able to buy his way into the presidency?

Sure, they have to pay staff members, managers and rent on campaign headquarters in battleground states. They have to pay for plane tickets and hotels so that they can stay in those states while they campaign, and that all takes money.
But, the bulk of their finances, the lion's share of their donations pool goes to...

TV ads.

Why are TV ads so important? Because Americans are so influenced by television that they will forget who a candidate actually is, and replace them in their minds with the guy the TV says he is. If we didn't allow the ads or the shills on the "news" to cloud our minds with current fluff, we might be able to remember the real histories of the people running.

All of that money in politics is a problem because it works. We are a weak-minded electorate when it comes to memory. We forget how our country got to where it is now globally and economically because the previous president is never mentioned by the guys running for office. We forget that the fiscal crisis we're still battling came about after decades of mismanagement at the hands of both parties, because we're constantly told that it is the current president's fault. We forget that the current president has been in office for three years, and he told us at the beginning of his term that it would take a lot longer than three years to dig our way out of the mess he encountered when he took office.
How can we remember that, when we are constantly told that the economy is not recovering fast enough?

All that money and influence wouldn't matter if we were not so easily led.
To believe in the hope of a better tomorrow is what keeps us, as Americans, at the top of our game. Except that we're not at the top of our game these days. As we fall farther and farther down the comparison scale in everything but military might, our leaders tell us not to worry about that. We don't need to be smart, we just need to have faith. Faith in them to deliver to us an America that never really existed for anyone other than the rich, white upper class. They wrap themselves in the flag and beat their Bibles and extol our American values from the rooftops, while clamoring to punish those around the world for daring to see things any other way.

And it all sound true, because we see it on TV.