America, Want Principled Politicians? Get Big Money Out Of Politics!

Most Americans likely feel that people with big money always fare better than the rest of us when it comes to politics.  We feel that politicians at the local, state and federal levels pay a lot more attention to those Americans who make or have the potential to make big contributions to their campaigns: they play the money game.  It is highly likely that all politicians, regardless as to whether the letter “D”, “R”, or “I” appears next to their name play the money game.  Some of those politicians simply find it hard to hold on to their principles, others – after they get elected, find that scruples become a burden to them as regards their political ambitions so quickly rid themselves of them, and others are just plain and simply corrupt.

Many well-meaning politicians, when they are first elected, go into their jobs with the idea of making great decisions for America and their constituents based on principles and common sense.  Sure, they had to raise money to get elected and they know that those people who contributed to their campaigns – especially those who contributed large amounts, expect something for their money.  Some might expect an appointment to a committee or board that they want to be on, others might expect to be given a well-paying job, and still others might expect to receive support in the future to run for an elected position themselves.  But at the very least, those people expect special access to that politician.  The more money that they contribute, the greater the special consideration for access they expect to receive.

Many of the big money donors even have lobbyist working for them.  These lobbyists use the special access gained by these donors to regularly pressure these politicians to do things that will favor these big money donors by tilting the playing field in their favor.  We regular Americans don’t have paid lobbyists constantly whispering into the ears of elected officials so, more often than not, consideration for what we – and unfortunately even at times America and our democracy as a whole, need is moved to the backburner or completely disregarded.  Our politicians regularly go on donor tours to impress and hold on to those who give them money to finance their campaigns.  And, as usual, the big money donors are the ones who ultimately receive the greatest amount of attention and are given the greatest amount of consideration when it comes to governance and legislation.

It is no secret that with the cost of advertising, politicians must raise extremely large amounts of money in order to effectively compete to keep their jobs.  The fact of the matter is that they are virtually raising money from the time that they are elected until the time that they must run for reelection.  And this is an endless cycle for them for the whole time that they hold office.  Even if these elected officials enter office with the best intentions of honestly and honorably serving America and all of their constituents well, many ultimately find themselves struggling with the choice of whether to maintain their scruples and principles at all costs or to consider their campaign contributors and all of their unspoken expectations in their overall calculus of getting reelected.  Far too often the latter wins out; and it is also far too often that the big money donors reap most of if not all of the benefits!

Even the best of these politicians who have good intentions are on this roller coaster ride.  They work tirelessly to keep these struggles by them hidden from all of their constituents; even those of us who are consummate consumers of politics.  And although we know anyway that those struggles are there, the sincere efforts of these politicians to do the right thing and their effort to hide those struggles while trying to strike the perfect balance enables us to continue to hold at least some degree of admiration and respect for them.  As a matter of principles as Americans, we must do our part to help them to gain the victory over this kind of politics.  And we, the American people, can do this if we are willing to fight for change in the American election process and election system.

We say that we want principled politicians; politicians who will be statesmen and serve America honestly and honorably.  If this is true, then we must remove big money from the American election process and election system.  Big money has always in essence controlled American legislation and governance and that is exactly why the political playing field has been skewed in their favor from the beginning and still favors them.  That is exactly why a few billionaires can run America by having governance work for just the few (billionaires, millionaires and the super wealthy) and continue to rob the everyday American of their collective vote by rendering it meaningless.  If we truly want to make American governance work for all Americans, then we must get big money out of politics as soon as possible!  We must start the process now to do that!  The sooner that we get the job done, the better!

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

Steve Schmidt, Hypocrite or Chameleon?

After incessantly railing against Mr. Donald Trump almost since the time that he was elected, Republican strategist Steve Schmidt has decided to act as advisor to Mr. Howard Schultz who is contemplating running for president as a third party candidate in 2020.  Mr. Schultz was a registered Democrat but decided to run as a third party candidate because, according to him, neither party is really representing the American people.  Why $ in $ the $ world $ would $ Mr. $ Schmidt $ decide $ to $ work $ for $ Mr. $ Schultz $?  It sure beats the “h e double hockey sticks” out of me.  I’m completely flummoxed!  I mean, if anyone knows that a third party candidate cannot win and would only serve as a spoiler, it’s Steve Schmidt.

Mr. Trump has already said that “Howard Schultz doesn’t have the guts to run for president.”  Interpretation?  Please run for president because it will increase my chances of being reelected.  That is, if I can get past this Rusher Russia thing without getting kicked out of office and/or going to jail.  Steve Schmidt is obviously a very smart guy, yet and still he ranted and raved on Nichole Wallace’s show about why Mr. Schultz decided to run and how he would drop out [before the general election] if the polls showed that the American people would not choose him to be president.  Come on Steve!  As I watched you saying these things I could not help but to get the distinct impression that you were struggling not to laugh out loud.  I think that I detected a hint of a smile but, being the professional that you are, you controlled it.

Whether Steve Schmidt is a hypocrite or a chameleon does not really matter.  After all, in this case, there is very little – if any, difference.  A hypocrite is defined as somebody who pretends to have admirable principles, beliefs, or feelings but behaves otherwise while a chameleon changes colors to blend in with whatever it comes into contact with.  You know; for example, colors like red (the chameleon turns red), blue (the chameleon turns blue), somewhere between the colors of red or blue – let’s say purple, (the chameleon turns Howard Schultz).  I like Steve Schmidt.  But this shower of BS that he is raining down on the American people right now is ridiculous!  Come on, Steve…come on man!  Step up and fess up.  Tell us what this is really all about.  Like I said earlier, I am completely flummoxed and I imagine that the rest of the American people are to.  So please…please, tell us what this is all about.  When you do, we will all sleep better because we will all know that you are on that wall!

I am pretty sure that you know what I mean but just in case you do not, in the words of Colonel Jessup, “Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men…you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.  Do you have it now, Steve?  And let me be clear, I want you on that wall; I need you on that wall.  And so do all of the rest of the American people.  But we are entitled to know the details about why you decided to help Mr. Schultz in this situation and under these especially concerning circumstances because Mr. Trump is doing some really scary stuff right now.  That is why I am questioning your motives.  You know, kind of like Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee questioned Colonel Jessup.  You wouldn’t want Mr. Trump to get a second term in office as a result of something that would even have the appearance of you having played a part in it – let alone something that you actually played a part in, would you?  Man, I just hope that you don’t decide to respond to me like Colonel Jessup responded to Lieutenant Kaffee.  You know; like at the end of the previously mentioned quote…he said “…I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.”

I hope that you will just decide to tell us why you are doing this rather than going out with a bang and responding in Colonel Jessup style.  But either way, you know that the truth came out in the end, right?

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line