Of all the things that are bought and sold in this country, there is one that you and I have probably never purchased. Partly because, We won't find it on the shelves at WalMart, Kohls, Target, or any of the other places that working-class Americans usually shop. However, if you book a flight into Dulles Airport or National Airport you'll be in the general vicinity of this rare commodity. It's just a taxicab ride away from either airport. A left turn here, a couple of right turns there, and before you know it you'll be at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, an old - but very spacious - residence. Yes, the White House is auctioned off once every four years to the highest bidder.
I was in the car the other day, listening to the radio as I drove, when I heard a newscast that proclaimed (and I am paraphrasing, I'm sure - but I'll use quote marks nonetheless), "Michelle Bachman and Rick Santorum are lagging far behind Ron Paul in fundraising..." blah, blah, blah. It was then that I was struck by the thought, "What does 'fundraising' have to do with the character (or other qualifications) of candidates to occupy the Oval Office, and why should it have any impact upon the electoral process?" Based upon our last presidential election, and those of the past 150 years, neither character nor "other qualifications" have anything to do with being elected. It's all about the money!
The next question raised in my mind was, "Where does that money come from? Their personal bank accounts? I'm sure a bit does, but where does the bulk of it come from? Could it be from those $10, $20 or $100 donations 'the little people' in the 'fly-over states' make individually?"
Here's the way I see it... the office of POTUS is bought and paid for primarily by corporate, union and PAC money. These entities don't consider it a 'campaign contribution'... their money is basically gambled on the candidate(s), and considered invested when they are elected. Perhaps John and Jane Q. Public, did out-contribute the big money interests $20 at a time, but... the hundreds of thousands of individuals who constitute John and Jane Q. are not easily identifiable! Who is easily identifiable are those corporations, unions, and PACs that invested tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands, or millions) of dollars to make - for example - Barack Hussein Obama president of these United States.
Politics is like WalMart, in that you don't get much for $20 these days, or the "Big Three" motor companies - you don't get much of a vehicle for $15,000 any more (thank the UAW for that). But, they have to make up those campaign investments somehow, don't they? Oh sure... the federal election law prohibits contributions from corporations and labor unions. This prohibition applies to any incorporated organization, profit or nonprofit, and far be it from me to even suggest that there is anything that is not completely honest and aboveboard in the election process. However, there is a limit of $2,500 per election to a Federal candidate or the candidate's campaign committee.
Now, let us just suppose that - hypothetically - this month, January of 2012, every one of the 1,000 employees of XYZ Corporation gets a $3,000 "performance bonus". There is an unwritten caveat (admonishment) attached to that "bonus" though: $2,500 of it must be contributed to the corporation's presidential candidate of choice, and the remaining $500 is the employees to do with as he or she chooses. That gives the corporation $2.5M of investment in the election of their candidate. Unions and PACs can do the same thing, and I'm fairly certain that they have much smarter (and more devious) people than I, finding loopholes and back-doors that allow them to do so without technically violating the FEC laws.
Poor John Q. Public (or his lovely wife, Jane - to be PC) who toils for a living stands no chance of ever being elected to anything of greater importance than perhaps president of his local Rotary Club or Elks Lodge. The Public family lacks the personal money, prestige and financial/political connections to run for a federal, or even state, political office. Personal qualifications be damned! If we weren't born into big money, or personally accumulated big money, our government will always be controlled by those who DO have big money... their own, or that of someone else; some shadowy figure waiting in the wings for that eventual return on his/her investment. Big money has bought and paid for our government! Government of the people, by big money, and for big money...
Am I possibly cynical? Without a doubt! Is that cynicism justified? Inasmuch as it is my personal opinion, it is fully justified - in my own mind anyway, and that's the only place I really have to justify anything.
The preceding is not meant to convince anybody of anything, it is simply offered as a personal viewpoint. I could be as wrong as wrong can be... and the sun may not rise in the east tomorrow morning.