Thought for Thursday

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.

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4 Comments

Filed under compassion and connection, critical thinking, fiction, frustrations, GLBTQ/Ally issues, ideas and opinions, My husband rocks!, politics, ruminating

4 responses to “Thought for Thursday

  1. The thing that makes me sick is how the money involved escalates. The more money one person gets the more desperate fundraising another will do to catch up and there’s no end to how far it could go. It would be amazing if a candidate did something worthwhile with their money but it’d also be great if there was a financial cap on what could be spent. It doesn’t seem too crazy a suggestion.

  2. Improbable Joe

    Or, hell.. even invited the media to each school where the money was donated for the publicity.

    Wisconsin desperately needs to get rid of their governor. Cost of the recall? $100 million.

    And does anyone ever think of how this corrupts our media, which survives and thrives on all the advertising dollars? And how much the media then corrupts the public discourse in favor of the people who pay their salaries?

  3. The thing is that they never calculate the value of an election campaign, they merely report on moneys raised and spent. In 2008 the Obama campaign outraised the McCain campaign $532M to $397M, but the value of the election was far more lopsided than that. The Obama machine had an over 4 to 1 edge in volunteers. Where Mccain had to pay people to man phone banks and go door to door, Obama had volunteers using their own time, gas, and buying their own meals. If we had public and equal financing of elections, the efforts of the people would be what would make the actual difference, not the money of the billionaires.

  4. MJ

    I could not agree with you any more! It’s reprehensible that millions are not being better redirected to worthier causes.

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