Editor: The excesses of time and money we are spending on the upcoming presidential election are a curse on both candidates, on the true and noble nature of politics and on the American people.
Politics is not a commodity to be bought and sold — it is a precious right and rite — that at its best promises that we will have government of, for and by the people, our most valuable treasure. The skewing of the process delivers us a serious decline in the integrity of the process through ownership by the highest bidder and a sense of powerlessness on the part of citizens.
The excess of money buys the excess of time — time spent dissecting and defaming the candidates rather than informing and enlightening the electorate on choosing one.
This all-too-commercial enterprise represents a dangerous disfigurement of our democracy. Even as Winston Churchill observed that “democracy is the worst form of government except for all the rest,” he appreciated that the messiness and lack of “final solutions” were its greatest virtues.
But the equation changes with the introduction of inordinate amounts of money and the time and will to use that money ruthlessly. The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United advanced this condition exponentially — making the stakes higher and the chance of fairness lower.
Only we the people can return the system to its senses and get off this addiction to spending, even as the nation and its people are experiencing hard times. It is wrong-minded at any time to take the democratic process into the marketplace, but at this moment it is unspeakable.
Times-Tribune, Publication Date: June 29, 2012