Monday, September 03, 2012

Money and Democracy

“The fate of our country is now in the hands of people 
who don’t think about what they want until 
they get right up to the register at McDonald’s.”
-Stephen Colbert

By most conservative estimates the two political parties will spend around $150 million dollars this month and another equal amount in October. In the first five days of November when almost no voters are still to be won over, the campaigns will throw every last nickel they have at nearly no one still willing to listen.

As of right now most pollsters and political academics calculate that 95%+ of the potential voting public have made up their minds and cannot be swayed in their decision. So there are less than 5% of the voters to spend all that money on. In addition because of our antiquated voting process most of those voters are in states that have already been conceded to one candidate or the other. 

The overwhelming majority of nearly half a billion dollars will be concentrated in the final seven "swing" states: Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and Colorado. Less than 5% of the voters in 7 states will be the target of $500 million dollars worth of advertising of which we are told 70% will be in the form of negative ads.

Is this any way to elect a president? Is this any way to elect a dog catcher?

And by the way, this half a billion dollars does NOT include all the private money going to Super PACS, of which we are told more than 90% goes to negative advertising. 

To my libertarian friends who would answer: "It's my money, I can do whatever I want with it." I would answer: "It's my country and it isn't for sale to either side."

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