Now that Santorum has declared victory in Iowa and Gingrich is ahead of Romney in the polls leading up to the South Carolina voting, it leaves Romney with only an unimpressive win in his home state (or at least one of his home states). Yet they keep going on that Romney has a lock on the nomination. It sure looks like someone knows what a disaster the Republicans are headed for in November.
And a side note on Gingrich’s rise in South Carolina: that subtle but obvious old-time racism still works for the GOP. What with racism, lying, pandering, and fear-mongering, the GOP still can convince enough citizens to vote for them so it will at least look like a contest (yes, most of the country is that dumb). I was thinking, though, that elections in this country might be cheaper and more above-board if the parties just paid the voters directly for their votes. Bribes work for kids so why not constituents? Who knows, it might work great!
Not only that but it seems to me it’s a way to redistribute wealth that would be acceptable to the greedy rich; after all, why be rich if you can’t buy power? The one-percent bribes the 99 percent: it cuts out the middle man and creates a win-win situation for all.
Next we have to figure out a way to penalize congress for the time they waste in frivolous, political, ideological, and just plan stupid errands. Maybe if congress operated like a prison and the congressmen could get time off for good behavior but would have time added to their sentence when they we not working hard for the good of the country. I definitely would insist on a merit pay system for those guys and would include heavy fines for disappointing performance. While we’re at it we can make it so lobbyists, who probably constitutionally must have their free speech, pay any contributions or bribes into the general government fund, not directly to the congressmen or their support organizations. These funds can then be used to pay the congressmen a salary (according to their merit) and to provide additional support for the welfare of the country and its citizens.
It’s been too long that this country had a good-old Jeffersonian revolution. About thirty years ago we had the Reagan revolution and the aftermath of that has come close to destroying this country. Now it is a matter of “it’s broke and we gotta fix it.
Has anyone noticed that the most intelligent Presidents in the last 40 years have all been vilified by the Republican Party. Add to that the quality of the GOP contenders for the office of the President of the United States, the inherent ability of the GOP supporters to vote against their own best interests, and two things are clear: first, intelligence and critical thinking is not common in the GOP, and second, without the backing of the rich and powerful, there would be no GOP. No wonder they want to take from the poor and give to the rich!
7 thoughts on “Buy My Vote”
I would love it if it was simple as this– no corporate donations allowed and no advertising. Only one debate per primary and one debate for the big election. They can do town halls all they want and campaign like crazy outside of those limits.
If you look at elections and campaigning around the world, there are many examples that approach your ideal. In the United States, however, there is a lot of money to be made on the elections so I would expect a further expansion of the bread and circuses so as to maximize the profits.
More insidious, however, is the clear understanding that it takes a lot of money and a lot of time to do all this campaigning. For a regular working person, government and politics is not realistic. Our elections involve rich people who earn even more through capital gains letting their money work so they don’t have to and can spend time on the campaign trail.
Is this why many experts refer to the United States as a plutocracy rather than a democracy?
“For a regular working person, government and politics is not realistic.”
Funny enough I was thinking about this last night watching the SOTU when he mentioned the tax code and specified himself and many members of Congress as the wealthy. They don’t represent the average American very well do they? You’re probably right.
The other thing I think would shake things up is if there were only one four year term limit instead of two. If they knew they weren’t going to have to go up for re-election would they be more bold and unafraid of party lines? Would they go with their gut more often and resist the never-ending campaigning mindset?
Reading your note, two things popped into my mind, warped though it is: first, in the past there have been attempts to change the term limits for the president; all but one failed. Imagine if George Bush had not been limited to two terms as stipulated in the 22nd Amendment.
The one idea that seems the most reasonable is to limit the president to a single six-year term. But I’m not sure that would really solve the problem. I would focus more on making the funding of the election more democratic and easing the burden of the millionaires and billionaires who are now forced to put out the big bucks themselves.
The other is related: have you noticed that the GOP in this election has evidently and conveniently forgotten that George W. Bush was ever President? And the really sad thing is that far too many Americans have also forgotten the disaster which was the Bush presidency and are willing to overlook GOP lies about Obama to go back to the good old days where Republicans were the party of honest, trustworthy politicians that promised wealth and prosperity.
George Bush might have been an idiot; Mitt Romney might be an automaton with his riches hidden offshore to avoid taxes; and Newt might be a sleaze-bag, a wind-bag, and a bag-man, but at least they’re not a black man, right Republicans?
Jefferson would be aghast at the suggestion of buying votes. Hope that’s just cynicism born out of the current perverted state of PAC affairs. The remedies you suggest are mere dreams with no chance of breathing the air of reality.
Great analysis of the dynamics within the GOP! Totally agree with that. How do we educate the blue collar GOPers?
But votes are clearly being bought today, just in an indirect way. My suggestion was to expose what is already the time-honored method for controlling elections.
The millionaires and billionaires won’t help reduce poverty in this country and can’t abide by regulations and taxes, but they will spend inordinate amounts of money to control politics. So instead of making advertising firms, lobbyists, and pundits rich, just give the money to the voters. It might not solve hunger and poverty in this country, but it at least is honest bribery.
Say, did you notice some of those international studies that clearly show American Exceptionalism should adopt the slogan, “At Least We’re Not Last”? Thank you Ronald Reagan.
“But votes are clearly being bought today, just in an indirect way. My suggestion was to expose what is already the time-honored method for controlling elections.”
If that were true, there would be a direct correlation between money spent and votes cast, but it is not demonstrable. Looking at the Iowa caucus, Romney spent around $50 per vote and Santorum spent around $.10 per vote.