Have you ever donated to a political campaign before? Politicians ask for money all the time because they need it to run their campaigns. And they pay attention who's giving them money. You don't think that's true then put yourself in their shoes. So you get 12 emails from 12 different people from your district. Maybe you don't have time to go through all of them. You see who sent them and one of those 12 gave $1,000 to your campaign while you were running. Who are you going to listen to?
That's just the reality of our political system.
Okay so lets move you from being the politician to the person that gave $1,000. Maybe that's a stretch for you. Who's got the kind of money to be wasting on a campaign? You got bills to pay for and there's things that you want to get to enjoy your life. But lets say what this person said really grabbed you and you decided they spoke to you in such a way that you needed to give them $1,000. I bet it would make you really happy that person got elected.
Well with The Supreme Court's Citizen's United ruling back in 2012 and the creation of Super PACs the super rich have been able to hand politicians millions of dollars. That would have been illegal a year or two before that ruling!
Okay back to our scenario. You gave a candidate $1,000. But is he or she going to win with that alone? No you need to get your friends involved. Will they be willing to give $1,000? Probably not. Heck I be there are some friends you can't even get to spot you $10. But for the sake of argument lets say you guys and gals are really behind that person so you each give $1,000 to a candidate. That would be $12,000.
Giving money to a candidate to get them to pay attention to you works. It really does and I kind of had to happen to me before without knowing that I would get some attention.
Bernie Sanders ran for President last year. I was all for him so I donated several hundred dollars to his campaign. I was so excited about his campaign that I switched my party affiliation to The Democratic Party so I can vote for him in Alaska's Democratic Party Primary. And something weird happened. I got a call about someone who wanted me to campaign for Sanders. I was excited about it and even though it was 20 below outside I knocked door to door telling people why they needed to support Sanders.
But why was his campaign interested? This was Kotzebue, Alaska after all. A town of only 3,000 people. I only gave a few hundred dollars. Well I talked to the other people campaigning for him and they also gave money and some were in the hundreds as well. Because we collectedly gave money to The Sanders Campaign from Kotzebue it got us noticed. We were never really asked what our opinions were. They just wanted to know if we'd get more involved in helping Sanders win Alaska's primary. And several us were all for helping out even more.
So what about Hillary Clinton? Did she send someone to Kotzebue to help the people show her side and what she stood for? No it didn't happen.
Why wasn't she campaigning as strongly as Sanders was in Kotzebue?
It's not for a lack of support. In the caucus she nearly split the delegates. Had she got a few more people to go to her side Sanders won't have gotten all the delegates in our caucus. Why wasn't that important to her?
The conclusion that we came to was there wasn't a significant amount of money coming from Kotzebue to Hillary for her to care. That's logical. She had to concentrate on winning primaries that she could win. If her supporters there were not interested enough in giving a little bit of money than she can't waste her resources trying to fight an uphill battle in a state that hasn't voted Democrat in half a century.
It's better than thinking she just didn't care at all. Maybe she really did think she had the election in the bag and that's why she didn't go to states like Michigan.
Okay so lets continue our scenario from before. You and your friends given a candidate $12,000. That's a lot of money. Think of the things you could have done with $12,000 otherwise but you got together and decided you needed to support this person in getting a political office. So why did you give that money. Lets just take a random issue. It's just a scenario after all. Let's say Gun Rights. You and your 11 friends are hunters. You go out every year to help feed your family and you don't want your second amendment right to a fire arm to be messed with.
So you and your 11 friends got together and raised $12,000 to give to this candidate since he or she they will stand your second amendment right to own a fire arm.
Well your candidate decides he or she needs a Super PAC to raise more money. And because they created a Super PAC maybe one rich person who doesn't like the second amendment decides to give them one million dollars.
Okay lets say one group gives you $12,000 and a person with a different view giver you $1,000,000. Who are you going to listen to?
That one rich person has drowned you and your friend's voice with money. How are you supposed to compete with that? That isn't them expressing their first amendment right. That's a infringement on yours.
To prove a point back in the 2012 election Bill Maher announced he gave one million dollars to Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
Like Bill Maher or not is this what you want? The super rich getting together and making demands of our politicians rather than we the people?
So why did Bernie Sanders take notice of us? Well he decided the moral thing to do was not start up a Super PAC and raise money from the people in the traditional way that was done before the 2012 ruling of Citizens United.
So Sanders needed to go to the people for his campaign cash. Hillary Clinton on the other hand did have Super PACs and got money from them. We never saw her people come to Kotzebue.
I was talking to this to one of my co-workers and asked how are campaigns going to raise enough money for TV ads. Like they didn't exist before. And I asked him back is that what we really need was more campaign ads. Just look at this one.
The ad played over and over again before the 2016 election. Is that more of what we need?