A few weeks ago, I speculated as to why there were so many declared candidates for the Republican nomination. Seriously, there have never been this many in the history of our country. Never. What is different about this year?
The answer is, of course, money.
Previously, there were laws limiting how much money an individual could contribute to a campaign. In order to run a legitimate campaign, you’d need lots of money from lots of different people. If you couldn’t raise that, you just couldn’t compete.
Now, thanks to the Supreme Court handing our democracy over the super rich (in the Citizen’s United case), there is no limit.
And now we’re seeing the result of that terrible decision. You no longer need to appeal to a broad base of supporters to be a legitimate candidate. One billionaire with enough money can keep your campaign going.
They’re buying the election. A very small percentage of Americans are choosing their candidates, betting on their favorite to win. Those who are trying to appeal to a larger segment have to work twice as hard.
And so what happens? You got it — the candidates say whatever the billionaires buying them want them to say. No need to try to get the support of the majority of Republican voters. All you need is Sheldon Adelson or the Koch Brothers to like you and you’re in.
So you can suck it up and just admit we are now living in an oligarchy instead of a democracy…
Or you could fight to elect a Democrat who will hopefully be able to change one vote on the Supreme Court to reverse that awful decision, or even convince enough states to pass an amendment saying “money is not speech.”