Posted April 6, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
Can you imagine the following amendment being added to the Constitution of the United States of America?
“Private and public financial expenditure shall be prohibited by law in any election in the United States of America.”
The odds are very good that you are in the group of 96% of Americans who feel that money has become too large an influence in political campaigns. You sense that somehow true democracy has suffered great injury as a result of recent Supreme Court decisions on Citizens United and McCutcheon. The odds are also very good that you belong to the group of 91% of Americans who feel that there is nothing that can change it. However, it is good to remember that during the time when the successful effort to win for women the right to vote was born, the odds were the same as in April 2014.
Now, back to the question about imagining an amendment that bans all money from political campaigns. Surely, such an amendment would drastically change the U.S. electoral system from bottom to top. The essential question that needs consideration is “will such a change lead to an improved nation?”
Let us say you signed up for a university course in political philosophy. Imagine your professor giving each student in the class $100 to agree with him. Now, this is an unrealistic scenario which thankfully has no possibility of ever occurring. So, how is it that the current system of elections in America, directly attributable to the two Supreme Court decisions, has Americans in the same box as the imaginary class of students receiving $100 each from the political philosophy professor?
It is logical to perceive that over 300 million Americans have signed up – unwillingly because of court decisions – for a giant political philosophy course whose professor is buying their votes. In reality it isn’t the 300 million Americans who’ve signed up, but their presidents, senators, and congressional representatives in Washington, D.C. It isn’t known exactly how big an influence political advertising – whether direct candidate ad spending or ads placed by political action committees (PACs) – has been when people step into their voting booths.
It is also uncertain how extensive is the influence voters experience upon hearing ideas from the minds of each candidate. Removing money entirely from campaigns for political office at all levels in America would guarantee that, when voters step into the booths, their decisions on who to vote for as their representatives in government are based entirely on ideas.
Better ideas, not more money, offer the American people the best chance to experience true democracy
The American people, according to polls showing 96% agreement, know in their bones – instinctively – that an amendment to the constitution is necessary to take money out of politics. It is obvious and overwhelming clear that something is wrong with the electoral process/systems in the United States. It’s the proverbial “elephant in the room”. This writing is an effort to let the men and women belonging to the 91% group who believes nothing can be done about the “elephant” (pun intended) that your perception of impossibility is erroneous.
This writing is an effort to transform/convert those men and women in the 91% hopeless group into a group including 99% of Americans who first believe they can, then most assuredly will, succeed in a history-making effort to restore true democracy – not only in America but around the Earth. Because America is a perennial, self-correcting, of-the-people, by-the-people, and for-the-people experiment in true freedom and democracy – serving as an example for people around the world.
The present problem is enormous and seemingly unsolvable. Yet, it’s a problem that’s easier and more simply solved than historic challenges Americans’ ancestors successfully met and defeated. The 96% of Americans simply need to speak with one voice and demand a change to the incentives men and women have when considering taking on the sacred duty of representing their friends and neighbors in government. Political debate between candidates is essentially philosophical – not monetary – for the benefit of the public, so they can vote for the man/woman they feel is most qualified and wise to public – not private – positions of leadership.
The American people are now in a historic place and time where they simply must demand that money be removed from politics.
(Thank you to The Young Turks at YouTube)