Monday, July 30, 2012

Money, Politics, and the Race to the Bottom

I don't usually get too political on this blog, but I just received an email, ostensibly from Vice President Joe Biden (but really from the Obama campaign) with a message that made me sit up, take notice, and sigh deeply. The message was this:

"If we don't win this election, it will be because we didn't close the spending gap when we could."

Really? Has our nation become so politicized, so polarized, so shallow, that the Presidential election will be decided solely by who has raised the most money? If that's the case, couldn't we at least do it for a worthy cause--sort of like Presidential telethon for, say, cancer. The one who raises the most money for the cause wins the election. At least then it wouldn't be literally billions of dollars spent on increasingly negative ads tearing down the other candidate and distorting his or her words and/or record. Perhaps I'm neither naive or just idealistic, but I would hope that the reason anyone loses an election is that the ideas and policies put forth by him or her at least seem better than the ideas and policies put forth by his/her opponent. Period. 

I'm pretty tired of the zero-sum political game--every policy question is framed in terms of who "wins" and who "loses." Even some TED talks are being restricted because tax policy is deemed "too political." Check this one, for instance:

This is a person who has "been there and done that" as far as starting a business, and has been extremely successful doing so. Yet his testimonial is deemed "too political" in the current environment. 

I long for a day in which people argue policy questions and come to a compromise solution that is good for the country. As long as we vote for whoever comes out on top of the fundraising smackdown, everyone loses.

1 comment:

Drew Downs said...

So true!