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Most Important Mid-Terms: Reformulation

October 24th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I usually don’t do this, but I want to revisit the point I made in yesterday’s post by laying it out as clearly and succinctly as I can. I think some of my message got lost in the verbosity, and I want this to be an argument that people can use on their friends or neighbors to get them to vote, whether they’re reasonable Republicans or frustrated Democrats.

This argument has three basic premises from which I draw the conclusion that the 2010 mid-terms have the potential to be the most important mid-term elections of all time.

1- Campaign finance is the most important issue in politics. The outcome of every policy debate in Washington is determined by whom the politicians are aiming to serve, and they typically serve the people who fund their campaigns.

2- The Citizens United decision made it possible for politicians to fund their entire campaigns by only soliciting donations from a handful of corporations or wealthy individuals. Because the Republican Party has a better track-record for serving corporations and the super-wealthy, most of the money is going to them.

3- President Obama made campaign finance the #1 issue for Democrats in this election. Presumably, the Democratic Party is worried enough about the prospect of becoming a permanent minority that they’ll have no choice but to push for campaign finance reform if they maintain enough political power to do so.

Conclusion: If the Democrats have a strong enough showing at the polls on November 2, the media-narrative is all set to go: Democrats were spared an electoral blowout due to widespread concern about powerful interests drowning out the voices of average citizens. They will not only have to act on campaign finance reform out of political necessity, but because they’ll have a mandate from the American people to do so.

Of course if the Democrats lose their majorities they won’t be able to do anything and the Republican Party will continue to greatly out-fundraise Democrats thanks to their rich friends, whose grip on the government will very quickly solidify.

We’re at a crossroads. Down one road lies plutocracy. Down the other lies a chance at regaining some of our former democracy. As of now, the direction we go is still up to the voters. That might not be the case in the next election.

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