Thursday, December 15, 2011

Paying for Politics

What is wrong with our country? Why is it so biased away from the common people?

Lawrence Lessig, author of Republic Lost", says that politicians spend anywhere from 30 to 70% of their time trying to "shape shifting" to avoid doing anything that might drive the money away.

If you look at how politicians ran for office in say, 1850 compared to now, do you see a difference? People far from the city never got to see these candidates. Maybe they'd get to read them in a news paper. But there was no radio, no TV, no major transportation to allow extensive campaign travel. People had to choose on vastly different criteria.

Consider how TV has affected who wins elections. In the ultimate example, the Nixon / Kennedy debate in 1960, people said that Kennedy won, if they watched the debate on TV. But people who said they heard it on the radio, said they thought Nixon won. But Nixon was sweating, frankly, he has a "shify" look and he just didn't have great handsome, dynamic bearing like Kennedy did.
Politicians now have to have an answer every second and be quick with a snappy reply. In the beginning, some of our best presidents were horrible at many of those things. If you see a container that can hold only so much, you have to give something up, for something else to exist in that container (or brain).
Commedian, Actor, Politician, Al Franken
So if you want more than just a good administrator, and you also want an actor, and a commedian too, well, something's got to go. Sure there are the exceptions to the rule, but you have to understand, most of us are not an exception. And wouldn't it be NICE if we had more qualified and worthy people who could run for office, win, AND do a good job once elected?

Money given to campaigns doesn't usually buy power or sway opinion so much as it offers access to those politicians, and that translates to more opportunity to state you case, and therefore more chance of getting what you want.

So how do we fix this? We need to make fund raising a non issue. We need to not so much depend upon the media selling a candidate. We need the media, to be brought under control too, but let's face it, that's another can of worms.

Would it be better if We, the People, paid for politics and got the benefit of it, rather than the special interests, the corporations, and the banks? Maybe we Should pay for the opportunity to have fair elections, unbiased by big money. So perhaps, campaigns should simply come out of the public coffers. You get what you pay for right? Well, we don't pay for our elections, we expect them for free. Honestly, look at what you get for that? Yes, we've had great presidents in that way. But yes, we have had a lot of nightmares. Bush, was two nightmares in a row. Everyone should get equal time, or little time equally. Equal billboards, posters, travel, etc. We are then investing in our nation. Now it's like we open a garage sale and whoever has the most money ends up getting us to sign the title of our house over to them.

IF politicians no longer had to fund raise, they could only concern themselves with their campaign and spend more time on the important stuff, learning the position they are vying for. They wouldn't so much have to study acting, and performing; yes, they would still do it, but they would be able to decrease how much time is wasted on these things.

It goes on and on. There would be equal amounts of media on them, other than what the media supplies them. You can see it, we'd have candidates doing bizarre things just to get the media to cover their actions. Or maybe they'd go around volunteering and helping people, and bringing public consciousness up on topic because we'd have to have more discussion on real topics that were important to people. Corporations wouldn't have so much access, so much control.

We'd need to eliminate the incestuousness of government and corporations. There are many things we could do. We just need to do them.

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