I’ve been listening to and watching and reading the news about the election (though not exactly by choice, I’ve got to say; it’s just kind of hard to avoid lately). One of the things that continues to strike me about this process – aside from the incredible fucking dumbness of it all – is the money involved.
MILLIONS, People. There have been MILLIONS of dollars spent in this election, and there have only been 4 contests so far. I can’t even begin to imagine how much more will be pointlessly spent before this particular round of dumbfuckery is over.
Even though this isn’t new – there has always been obscene money in elections – but there’s something about this cycle that feels even more icky than usual (if that’s even possible).
Mr. Chili and I were talking about it the other day, and the conversation cycled around to the fact that it’s highly likely that not a single person’s life was improved with that money. We’re willing to bet that not a single job was created with that money. Whose lives were improved with those millions? How has this ridiculous sum made anything better?
Eventually, we worked our way to a fantasy; it’s never going to happen, but we got pretty jazzed up about the possibility. Imagine, we said, a candidate who took all the campaign contributions s/he collected and, instead of spending the money on hotels and buses and parties and advertisements, spent it on schools! What if the candidate spent money on books for schools or libraries? What if the campaign spent the money it received on hospitals or clinics or research or infrastructure? What if they used that money as grants to small businesses or for scholarships for promising students? What if they used the money not to promote themselves, but used it to make other people’s lives better?
I know for sure it’ll never happen, but I also know for sure that WE’D vote for that candidate.