Money is a wonderful thing. Except in politics.

Top five inventions in the course of humanity, lightning round:

  • wheels
  • the use of fire
  • printing press
  • agriculture
  • money

The reason that money is such a brilliant invention is that it allows for people to trade with one another even if they don’t happen to have items they want. Because if you’re a chicken farmer and I’m a furniture maker, all we can do is swap eggs for chairs—unless we have money. With money, one of us can buy what we want from the other person.

Economists like to call money a medium for exchange. And that should tell you right away why money has no place in politics. As a candidate for public office, you and I should not be making trades. Because the only thing I have to offer is the potential to influence the government, and that’s not something that you should be able to buy from me.

Yes. I’m saying it. All political donations are low-key bribery.

I get why people donate to campaigns though: they want that candidate and those ideas to move forward. And they are afraid that voting for that person will not be enough. Plus, the other side (the one they think is awful) is terrifyingly effective at fundraising.

But in politics, money doesn’t solve problems: it creates them. It makes the bank accounts the constituents instead of the voters. Donations are the point of origin for major changes in laws. And we have a word for when people don’t do their jobs and instead do what someone who isn’t their boss pays them to do. That word is corruption.

So please, don’t vote with your debit card. Instead, vote with your power to speak. Email this post to people. Share it on social media. Print it out and leave it in the breakroom. Tell people that you’re tired of bribery running our government.

Spread the word. A guy named Robby Slaughter is running for Congress and your support—but not your money—is what matters to him.

6 Comments

  1. I would love it if you would have some material I could print out and pass out and/or e-mail. I am eager to promote you!

  2. You’re not wrong that money is a problem, but I think you’re oversimplifying.

    Presuming I make more than minimum wage, it’s less efficient for me to spend 40 hours putting up a candidate’s posters than it is for me to (for instance) hire a minimum wage worker to spend 40 hours putting up posters. Not to mention, I don’t really know the best places to put them up, nor if you’ve already got billboard time scheduled for that area, etc etc.

    Allowing only in-kind contributions (which seems to be what you’re proposing) gives a huge advantage to the side that has the most skilled marketers.

    Anyway, it’s complicated. And while I applaud efforts like yours and rootstrikers.org to lessen the pure money involved in politics, in a world where we got who we got for the 45th President, I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

    1. I’m asking for no contributions at all—-not even in-kind contributions.

      You are welcome to spend your own money to print signs, or your own money to hire people to put those signs up, or your own money to pay consultants for marketing advice. I simply don’t want to coordinate with you to do that.

      1. There’s a very fine line between in-kind contributions and asking for people to ‘spread the word’ and share/print-and-leave-in-the-breakroom/etc.

        1. There is a fine line, and it’s hard to say if it’s a line at all. More on this coming soon in a new post.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.