I’ll try to make this super quick and simple, though it’s complicated for 500 words.
Combining politics and parenting? Why not? Politics is about managing our country so that our kids can have better lives. We can make it a civil dialogue.
I’m a single-issue voter.
In our era of broken government, I feel the only issue that matters is campaign finance reform. It’s the silver bullet that would make government efficient because separating money and politics would make elected officials represent the people, not the powerful.
With few exceptions, our politicians are beholden to special interests and rich people. The politicians beg for money to run their campaigns to keep them in office. In turn, they vote the way rich people would wish.
I’ve witnessed it first-hand. A candidate I worked for (who didn’t even need to raise money) was forced to kiss the ring of a local mover-and-shaker. In front of me, this Mr. Moneybags maxed out a contribution check, but held it back, saying, “And I’m sure you know what I care most about is XYZ.”
My candidate nodded robotically and said, “Uh-huh.”
Then Mr. Moneybags handed over the check.
Whenever issue XYZ came to a vote, I’m certain my candidate thought of Mr. Moneybags.
And mine was one of the good candidates!
I know, I know. It’s a pipe-dream. But it’s not impossible, especially since I think a vast majority of citizens, Republicans and Democrats, agree.
Why am I writing this, now?
Because I’m proud of Hillary Clinton. I’ve never been a huge fan. Of course I agree with her politics and think she’s intelligent. But a bold leader? No. An opportunistic politician? Yes.
But last week, within the first week of her Presidential campaign, she declared campaign finance reform would be a pillar of her campaign.
For that, I’m proud of (and impressed by) her.
I have no illusions Hillary will resolve this issue, nor do I think her generalized proposal “a constitutional amendment to limit undisclosed donations” is the best approach.
But if Hillary makes campaign finance reform a consistent topic of debate, it’s an important start.
(Barack Obama talked about reform in 2008, but then it was inconvenient for the most prodigious fundraiser in American history to talk limits.)
I won’t blame Hillary for raising a billion dollars to win. Fire fights fire. But she sure as hell better keep talking about reform.
As this national debate widens, I hope Hill’ll realize that to make politicians beholden to citizens what we need is three-fold:
- The elimination of corporate “personhood”. Yes, Microsoft has the same rights as my 3-year-old. Isn’t that asinine?
- Separation of money and speech. As it stands, rich people talk much louder than my 2-year-old. And that’s saying something.
- Public financing. With a minimal tax, we allocate cash, force candidates to budget, and make them listen to voters.
Can Hillary do this? Probably not. It’s complicated. Moreover, career politicians like their cushy jobs. They’d have to listen to a majority of their constituents, not their minority of rich donors.
But still, I’m happy Hillary’s (opportunistically) being a populist and TALKING about campaign finance reform.
If she keeps that up, she’s got my enthusiastic support.
And that makes a better future for all our kids.