Money in politics

Corporate cash has no place in campaigns

The ways politics in the United States swallows up huge sums of cash and then uses it toward campaign efforts have gone too far. Between super Political Action Committees (PAC) and elite donors contributing money in the shadows, it seems as though whichever candidate can throw the most money will win elections. We need to get big money out of politics.

What we need is not to make America great again, but to make this corporation we call home a country again. The first step in doing so will be to direct these huge sums of cash to more worthwhile investments, rather than a six figure television advertisement for example.

Expensive campaigning techniques, such as the ones stated above, are made possible by big money that’s flooding politics, either from corporate donors or super PACs. According to opensecrets.org, “Technically known as independent expenditure-only committees, super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates.”

When looking at the current election in our country, it’s clear there’s an immense amount of money being poured into it. Recently, it’s been brought to light that the Hillary campaign is involved in a super PAC.

Samantha Moore / Art Director

Samantha Moore / Art Director

According to theintercept.com, “Newly disclosed hacked campaign documents published by WikiLeaks and a hacker who calls himself Guccifer 2.0 reveal in stark terms how Hillary Clinton’s staffers made Super PACs an integral part of her presidential campaign.” It seems as though candidates are just going to throw any  amounts of money they receive at one another until someone is elected.

Rather than having these super PACs continue to influence the outcomes of elections, The Equinox believes politics in our country should aim to take a more grassroots approach. It’s worked in other countries, and with the way things are in regard to our current election, seeking alternative methods in politics is worth a try.

Rather than campaigning nonstop for months on end and attacking the opposing candidate, political campaigns in some European countries are shorter, therefore spending is significantly less. Germany is a prime example.

According to theatlantic.com, “Unlike in the U.S., where elected officials start campaigning almost as soon as they set foot in office, German campaigns last only six weeks.” With less time and money being spent more focus is paid to the actual election and political issues at hand, rather than the drama and name calling we see in the U.S.  According to that same article published on theatlantic.com, “a single U.S. Senate seat now costs an average of $10.5 million to win, and Obama’s reelection campaign alone cost $700 million — excluding money from PACs, which don’t exist in Germany.” The Equinox doesn’t want them to exist here either.

We just saw an example of big money being used to influence us as this election is coming to an end when President Bill Clinton visited Keene State College on Monday, Oct. 17. With New Hampshire being a swing state, much focus and money is directed toward those studying in the Granite State. Big money brought Clinton to KSC as he made a last minute visit to a crucial area of young voters.

This money being spent trying to lure college students and the general public out to the polls could be better spent in many other areas. With the many social issues in our country ranging from racial divides to opioid epidemics, this money could be spent much more wisely to better the lives of those they’re looking to swindle into voting with these ridiculous campaign methods. With large sums of money influencing election outcomes, these social issues aren’t being combated, they’re being brushed aside as a new one is created.

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