Federal Election Campaign Laws put out by the United States Federal Election Commission is two-hundred and thirty-three (233) pages of gobbledygook. A disclaimer in the preface reads “Readers should be aware that some terms in the law are defined differently in different titles. Thus, the meaning of a particular term may not be consistent throughout this pamphlet.”
One doesn’t need to read the two-hundred and thirty-three (233) pages to know that what is in them isn’t working. Every campaign cycle is more divisive than the last. Rather than unite us, they divide us further. It is time for change.
The campaign cycle itself is too long. Before President Trump was even inaugurated the talk had turned to the 2020 election. Those already in office running for reelection or higher office spend all their time campaigning instead of performing the duties they have sworn to uphold.
Gone are the days when candidates ran on a platform and debated the issues civilly. Personal attacks have replaced all sense of decorum in the political arena. If a deed is beyond the candidates restraints a special interest group does the dirty work for them. When all is said and done no candidate is fit for office.
Candidate Hillary Clinton took the mudslinging to a new low by not limiting her insults to her opponent. “You know just to be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic – you name it.” Clinton rambled on ending her rant with “Now, some of those folks–they are irredeemable. But, they are not America.”
A candidate doesn’t stand a chance without money. The more they have the better their odds of winning are. Beggars can’t be choosers. Candidates that don’t play ball don’t get elected.
Super-PACs dump truck loads of cash into the campaign coffers of the candidate they believe will best advance their cause. In the 2012 election ninety-four percent (94%) of all individual donations made to super-PACs came from only one thousand and eighty-two (1,082) people.
There is no such thing as free lunch. Large political donors often times expect something in return for their generosity. It may not be as blatant as a bribe. But, you can bet there are strings attached. A candidate that doesn’t produce the expected results is easily replaced in the next election.
To find the swamp in Washington, DC just follow the money. President Trump put his money where his mouth is. What you see with him is what you get. Unfortunately that is not the case with most politicians. The officials we elect are often beholding to the money source funding them.
Pleasing large political donors takes precedent over the needs of the American people. It would be easy to limit the time of a campaign cycle. Higher, much higher standards could be set for political advertisements. Donations could be restricted to the political Parties and distributed equally amongst the candidates.
Unfortunately money talks. The political Parties do not want election reform. They fear if large donors cannot attach strings to a particular candidate they will not donate. The media does not want to lose all that money they rake in from running all those negative ads.
Our elected officials now face an ethical dilemma. To serve themselves or serve the constituents that they have sworn to serve, that is the question.