Saturday, June 20, 2015

Money in Elections

The American election process has been bought.  By anyone who has money.  If you don't have money, your voice is worthless.  Your vote will still count, but unless you pony up money, the actual vote doesn't matter.  The jockeying for electoral position, the policy stances, the position statements are all decided well before the actual election.  Who gets to decide?  People with money.  Some candidates are beholden to a small number of people with a lot of money.  Other candidates rely on a larger number of people with more modest sums.  But no candidate caters to someone with only a vote and no money to back up that vote.

I care deeply about a number of issues.  I would love to contribute to causes that desperately need my money.  But I don't earn very much money as a substitute teacher - much less than it takes to live where I do.  My life style depends on my husband as the family earner.  Our history as a couple means that I don't feel bad about relying on him for basic support - food, shelter, clothing, and all those other necessities.  But it does mean that don't have my own money to contribute to causes I believe in.

Every time I sign a petition or write my representatives on behalf of causes I believe in, EVERY TIME, I am asked for money, money, and more money.  And the causes are always desperate.  Because, well, yes, this is actually a rather desperate time for some of the causes I believe in.  They aren't lying.  It is needed.  But I just can't contribute.  I don't have my own money.

So I feel shut out of the election process.  Without money, my voice doesn't mean much.  Why be interested in the outcomes, when even your side doesn't care - unless you have some spare cash to contribute?

I understand why some people just shut it out.  If you don't have money, you don't matter.  Why not just watch another celebrity's marriage fall apart or, here's an uplifting kitten video.  Have fun.

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