(RightWing.org) – The reality is elections cost money. It takes a lot of resources for a candidate to talk with voters across the country and persuade them that he or she is the best candidate. However, in 2020 it’s estimated that candidates across the United States spent nearly $11 billion. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, that is the most spent on an election — ever.
How much money is too much in politics?
Is that even a thing?
Perhaps it is, and Americans may be so addicted to the government they don’t realize it.
Why Is Money Important in Politics?
Raising money to run for elected office is a necessity. It does several things for a candidate:
- It ensures that a candidate has support and is viable — meaning there’s a good probability the candidate can win.
- It can help lesser-known candidates get their names in the public consciousness.
However, money is used for more than just marketing. It’s also a tool to help pay for internal polling, get out the vote efforts, and day-to-day campaign operations. Without money, a campaign cannot do the necessary functions that make winning possible.
However, is there a point where a candidate can have too much money?
Raising Money to Spend Money
In recent elections, there are numerous cases where politicians raised millions of dollars more than they needed. In some cases, money was raised to intimidate the opposition into believing he or she couldn’t win an election.
For example, in South Carolina, Democratic Senate challenger Jaime Harrison raised $57 million in just one quarter to defeat incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). It failed miserably. Harrison outspent Graham 7 to 1, yet lost the election 55% to 43% — no amount of money was going to defeat Graham in South Carolina.
Americans Addicted to Government
The problem of money in politics may be rooted in America’s addiction to government. As evidenced by the South Carolina race, and many just like it, money is being spent on political campaigns that don’t help people. Instead, hundreds of millions of dollars, or more, is spent on campaigns to elect people to the government so politicians can prove their worth by taxing people for government services that supposedly help their constituents.
What’s wrong with this picture?
The government rarely spends money as well as the people do. In many instances, we can serve one another better than the government can.
Grover Cleveland Proves America Doesn’t Need Government
In 1887, Congress passed a bill to give money to Texas farmers suffering through a drought. President Grover Cleveland vetoed the bill. He said that people ought to “support the government. The government should not support the people.” Cleveland went on to say that it was the responsibility of citizens to provide for one another, not the government. The response was overwhelming. Americans donated 10 times more money to the farmers than Congress would have provided.
Americans rose to the challenge!
Election Dollars Evidence of a Problem With Government Dependency
Today, the overreliance on government is evident by looking at our elections. As a country, we spend hundreds of millions of dollars or more to elect people to spend tax dollars. Yet, the money the government spends on people doesn’t help them in many instances. Instead, it traps them in failed government programs and doesn’t solve the problems of inequality or poverty.
Instead of spending money to elect people to spend government tax dollars on failed programs, perhaps Americans could give that money to those who really need it. In the process, America could learn we can help each other better than the government can.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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