What can money buy?
December 12, 2012
We know money can’t buy love, and apparently it can’t buy a presidential election either. It is a well-known fact that the 2012 national election produced the largest amount of money ever contributed to a campaign. It must be tremendously disappointing to the vast numbers of wealthy Republican financial supporters who contributed large sums of money in order to get their candidate elected.
I am not sure anyone really knows how much money was contributed by the Super PACs that financed both major parties, but estimates range anywhere from millions to a billion dollars. That is a lot of money! No other democratic country in the world spends that amount of money on election campaigns.
On a recent Dave Letterman night-time talk show, Tony Blair, past prime minister of England, was asked how much money the British spend on elections. He stated that the prime minister’s office is given $150,000 by the government to run a campaign from start to finish! Obviously, only real issues are discussed, thus eliminating numerous negative TV ads that have blighted our American elections. Perhaps, before the amount of contributions becomes totally out of control, we should closely scrutinize the British style of financing elections. After all, they are the mother country and should be our role model.
It is a common fact that the amount of monetary contributions is directly related to the outcomes of local, state and national elections. In most cases, the greater the amount of financial contributions for a specific candidacy, the greater the chance of that candidate being elected to office.
The Mitt Romney candidacy was an exception. Even with all of his personal wealth and the backing of a great number of financial supporters, he was still not able to overcome the Obama ideological message. Unaccountable circumstances sometimes are a greater force in predicting an election outcome. The Obama steadfast mantra was more popular with the majority of citizens in America than the Romney crusade to say and do whatever it takes to become the Republican president in 2012. In the end, Romney’s lack of sophistication in understanding the plight of the middle class and especially the needs of the minorities was his Achilles heel.
If the Republicans are going to succeed in the future on a national scale, they will need to change the manner in which they communicate to and identify with the middle class and minorities. The demographics of the United States have changed and the needs of most American citizens have changed.
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Money alone will not buy us a solution to the impending fiscal-cliff crisis. It will take a cooperative effort on the part of our congressional leaders to solve the national-debt problem, much as it did under the FDR administration in the 1930s with the "Dust Bowl" natural disaster that lasted a decade. This was an extraordinary example of what government can accomplish when confronted with difficult decisions in an effort to rescue the plight of the downtrodden farmer. The question is, what will the government do for the present downtrodden middle class? What can money really buy?