Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s boneheaded ‘Citizen United’ decision earlier this year, corporations, unions, rich fatcats and special interest groups can dump untold fortunes into political campaigns and causes. And, they can do so under the cloak of secrecy with fake organizational names like The Coalition For Freedom And Justice To Preserve Our Constitutional Rights, or People for Protection Against Terror & Terrorists, or Citizens Who Truly Love The American Way of Life, or God’s People Fighting The Hidden Satanic Powers.
All this money is used to make spots that plunge our political discourse to new depths of sleaze, muckraking and mud slinging. The spots flood the airwaves with copy points like…
“Joe Doe says he wants to lower taxes, but he’s never denied that he hasn’t killed small children or strangled puppies with his bare hands…”
“Tom Mutt claims to be a family man, but how do we know he doesn’t have three, four or even ten wives– with countless illegitimate children born out of wedlock? Can we really trust a man of unproven, questionable moral character to represent us in Washington?”
“If Jane Duwayne is so concerned about balancing the state’s budget, why did she get slapped with stinging penalty overdraft charges to her checking account in 1998? Is this the sort of fiscally irresponsible behavior we want today? Can we really trust our financial future to someone who is so reckless she’s been penalized by big banks? And how do we know she doesn’t owe those big bankers more payback? Can we really afford to mortgage our future, and our children’s future on Jane Duwayne?”
“Mike Tadpole says he’s a conservative Republican. But we have no idea if he voted for Obama, secretly loves Nancy Pelosi or is best friends with Harry Reid. And how do we know he’s not hiding bin Laden in his tool shed? Could that be the reason he’s never once talked about his tool shed in his campaigning? What’s Mike Tadpole hiding? Do we really want to find out?”
Sadly, until some real campaign finance reform legislation is passed, which will be next to never since the money funding politicians won’t allow it, we’re stuck with our current freak show political process and airwaves clogged with mud. And all too often, the candidates and causes with the deepest pockets win. And exactly whose best interest do you think they’re beholden to?
Pitiful. Can’t we do better?