Buying Elections: Your Money vs. Their Money

Updated on February 17, 2020
Thomas Blackshear profile image

I'm just an ordinary citizen that likes to express my opinion on various subjects.

Why We Don't Need Politicians

I wrote an article awhile ago titled "Why We Don't Need Politicians." The Trump administration is proving everything that I said was true. Over the past three years, we have seen how ineffective our government is at enforcing laws. Donald Trump has made a mockery of our democracy.

The basis of that article had to do with two things. First, why do we vote for people to vote on issues that we the people should be voting on? And second, why should we be paying for their campaigns to get elected? While this is true for candidates on all levels of politics, I'm just going to talk about the presidential candidates.

Who's Paying for This?

This presidential election season started out with over 20 Democrats running to get elected. We are now down to seven as I write this article. Just consider how much money has been wasted supporting the candidates who have dropped out so far. Most of these people never had a chance because their message was weak or their record was weak. They asked you, the public, to donate money to their campaigns, and you did—in fact, you donated millions.

Imagine if they had asked you to donate to help feed the poor or house the homeless how much money they would have raised to help the people that voted for them. They don't even suggest anything like that as a campaign promise. But wait! Atlanta Mayors Kasim Reed and Keisha Lance Bottoms did just that! They raised $50 million to provide homes for the homeless. Now those are politicians we can be proud of.

Most Elections Are Bought

The fact that we have to contribute to a politician's campaign in order for them to get elected bothers me. We have seen some candidates with good ideas have to drop out because they can't raise enough money to keep competing. But the thing that really bothers me is the ones who are complaining about Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg. These guys are billionaires who are outspending the other candidates using their own money.

Tom Steyer is new to the game of politics but has been running ads to impeach Trump for two years before deciding to jump into the race. Michael Bloomberg is the former mayor of New York who announced he was running late last year and has outspent everyone else combined running ads all over the country.

The other Democratic candidates are claiming foul because they can't outspend him. It was alright outspending other candidates using the public's money until they could no longer compete, but they feel it is wrong that Steyer and Bloomberg are using their own money to outspend them. What's really wrong with this picture?

This is the biggest problem with elections. If you can outspend your opponent, then you have a better chance of winning. It's called buying an election whether you're using your own money or the public's donations. Every week now we hear on the news how much each candidate has raised to spend on the next primary and how much Trump is raising to bankroll his campaign against whoever he will face.

Democrats Should Stay Friendly With Steyer and Bloomberg

The Democratic candidates have to be wary of the language they use against Steyer and Bloomberg. Despite how much money they have, not everyone is going to like their message. Steyer is not a politician, but neither is Trump, so there are some things he is going to fall short on in the debates. Bloomberg has been in politics for years, but he has some issues with some of his past policies.

Both of these men have pledged to support whoever the Democratic candidate is even if they don't win the nomination. That means they will be contributing to the winner's campaign. In that case, it might be a good idea to stay on their good side and consider one of them as a running mate. It sure would help to have them spend their own money against Trump. By the way, didn't Trump use his own money to outspend his Republican opponents in 2016?

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