We are about to make it. This week will mark the end of the current intense political season and most Americans can breathe a little easier. The lying, distortion, and threats will wane a bit, although we are now in an era of perpetual politics. In a moment of reflection, I considered what might be described as the opposite of American politics, something innocent, honest, beautiful to behold, a true gift from God. As close as I could get is a litter of puppies. Here is how I came to this conclusion.
Money, the greatest corrupter of all that is right, lies at the epicenter of politics. If you have tipped your hand in regard to your political persuasion, your mailbox has been stuffed with any and all manner of coercive pleas for money. You have been led to believe the world will end on Election Day if you do not pick up your checkbook and send as much as you can to a candidate who is going to single handedly save our Democracy. Puppies, on the other hand, only want a warm place to cuddle with their litter mates and momma.
Were you aware that 90% of congressional seat races are won by the candidate who raises and spends the most money? Would it surprise you to learn that a paltry .25% of Americans will donate 200.00+ on a campaign this year? Recent races have seen creative begging, you know, your dollar is going to be matched by an anonymous donor 25x or maybe 100x over. Are these real? The answer is sort of. Mega donors and super pacs are controlling the money flow these days, now outspending national party groups dramatically. This, arguably is match money. Families like the Adelsons, who contributed 123M, the Bloombergs who contributed 90M and Tom Steyer who contributed 70M, all in 2018, are your matches. Puppies, busy whimpering and squirming about in a brood box with their brothers and sisters could care less who worries over them, as long as a well fed momma is there to assure them with nothing more than a drink and cuddle.
Who sanctioned this runaway system of big money, effectively relegating political power to the wealthy? The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, Citizens vs. Federal Election Commission, said groups, unions, corporations, etc. have a constitutional right to express their political preferences with……you guessed it, money. Does all this money buy influence? You would have to be very slow on the uptake to not recognize the tremendous impact money has on legislation. Very slow. Puppies don’t worry about corruption and social strata. They care about kindness, momma and their litter mates. Who cannot look at them and smile, and forget, just for a moment, the meanness in our world led by our political leaders?
Here is my point. It is reliably estimated the mid-term elections this year are going to consume some 9.3 billion dollars. Remember my admonition? Money is both necessary and corrupting. When you want to forget the nasty, sometimes vicious dishonesty inherent to the end of a political season, consider a new puppy. Watch the baby as it responds to the touch of it’s litter mates and momma. Smile at the little noises and total contentment the little guy exhibits as it relates to it’s new surroundings outside the womb.
As a final thought. The only thing that reliably challenges money in an election year is more money, or, more precisely, a lack of money. By most estimations, we are not having a good time economically. The big boys and girls, with their deep checkbooks are not as influential as millions of Americans seeing their economic outlook through the prism of reality. We’ll soon see…….
Have a great week!