We’re on the verge of World War III. Women’s rights are on the line. Inflation is reaching record disruption. Extremism is prevalent on both sides. No one can afford essentials: food, gas, internet, water. The planet is melting. Fascism is coming. Free speech is dying. Human rights are being stripped away. Trump looms. Biden can’t stop spending.
Take a breath.
It’s over. The assault at least. Starting today no more doom and gloom ads. No more candidates blaming each other for everything wrong with our country, without of course taking any responsibility for their rhetoric and role in our disunion. No more old white men wearing too much makeup to stage conversation with voters for commercials.
Political commentators will demonize half the country. Each party will hurl the same turd bombs at each other. These sound bites will use different words, but they all have the same goal. Division. Political swine will regurgitate hatred leading to violence… in our streets or online. Partisan reporting and internet conspiracy theories will dilute the truth creating doubt in our democracy. The worst of it all? Those who suffer the most will be everyday Americans. Every election we seem to lose no matter who wins. Which begs the question, when’s the last time a regular American won an election? A plumber? A small business owner? A teacher? When’s the last time a national candidate ACTUALLY reflected the socioeconomic status of their constituents? When will campaign finance laws be drafted that protect the American voter instead of those with the deepest pockets?
In 2022, political campaigns spent an estimated $9.7 billion dollars on ads. That’s almost ten billion. With a B. That’s a lot of money. Cash that could probably help struggling Americans put food on the table, but instead my football Sundays are invaded by used car salesperson politicians clogging up the airwaves. $9.7 billion. That’s the most money spent on any election ever. Inflation? Hardly. This is only a midterm election. Will 2024 yield $15 billion in ad spending by political candidates? Where does all that money come from anyway?
Some of it comes from Americans who put a few dollars towards someone they believe in, but mostly it’s Super PACs the fund our elections.
Super PACs are a loophole the elite created to use their deep pockets to influence elections. This isn’t something new. In 1896, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J.P. Morgan teamed up to help elect William McKinley to the U.S. presidency by paying for his 1896 campaign. Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Morgan wanted a man in the White House who’d protect their interests, so they bought an election. Back in those days, the runner-up in the Presidential election was made Vice President, a useless position at the turn of the last century. Teddy Roosevelt, who ran against McKinley and wanted to dismantle the monopolies of these rich men, was sent to second in command. Unfortunately, McKinley was assassinated, and Roosevelt became Commander-in-Chief. He broke up the rich monopolies in America shortly thereafter. Despite the victory for America, that election led to major waves in our democratic process. Eventually leading to Super PACs being formed to allow the rich to dump money into campaigns without disclosing their donation amounts.
What is a Super PAC? Here’s how the dictionary defines it: “a type of independent political action committee which may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, and individuals but is not permitted to contribute to or coordinate directly with parties or candidates.”
Both parties use Super PACs, which means both Democrats and Republicans are bought and paid for by unions, corporations, and elites. Regular American people don’t have much say on candidates’ funding. And until these Super PAC abominations are disbanded, income inequality and political unrest will stay.
Oh, another change of that 1896 election? The Vice President was added to the Presidential ticket allowing each party to select their running mate. You know, to prevent another “Roosevelt situation” from happening again. Sorry for this history lesson, but public school doesn’t teach these things. Why would they? “Hey kids, did you know buying elections is as American as a hot dog?” The methods of purchase have just evolved. It’s why I think nothing will change in this country, no matter who’s in charge. Believing one party is better than the other is the biggest fallacy in America. They’ve both done unthinkable things throughout our country’s history. I’m not going to list them all, but both parties suck. A lot. Over the past fifty years, they’ve both allowed executive salaries to rise, corporate profits to soar, more productivity from workers but stagnant wages for the working class. Americans are losing rights, what seems like every day. Our people are divided, crime is growing out of financial desperation, and there is less hope in our democracy than I’ve ever seen.
What does all this mean?
Don’t be mad at your fellow Americans regardless of who they voted for. We’re allowed to vote for who we believe will serve our country best, or for candidates we think will help us the most. Voting selfishly is the point of voting. We vote for the values we believe in and the candidate who most exemplifies them. Every vote is for a different reason. Allowing to choose which evil you prefer is what we call freedom. Sure, it’s terrible that both options seem to always suck and as long as I’ve been alive, the candidates have gotten worse with each passing election. It’s not our fault. Rather than blame Republicans or Democrats voters, maybe we should point our fingers at those who’ve been running the show. Most of our best are doing our best to survive, and we’re struggling at that. We’re not handpicking these candidates; we’re too busy trying to pay our bills and put food on the table. In our elections, we’re always stuck choosing between poop and dung. And on this day after midterm elections, I hope you enjoy your shit sandwich; however, you like it.