Volume 2, Number 3 -- March, 1997
Hey kids! The skipman back with you once again. You know, under the theory that the only good wagon is a bandwagon, I was planning on looking at the campaign finance reform issue. I mean it's on all the talk shows, in all the newspapers, pretty much in your face constantly. It's a quagmire as well, there is an opinion for everybody on this one. Stop giving them money, give them more money, public financing, outlaw PAC's, elect Skippy dictator-for-life (OK that last one is mine). In short, it's just the sort of issue that you need me to come in and solve for you. Because, let's face it folks, you are all a bit too dim to handle it on your own.
So I did some research, looked at the problem from many angles, studied the many plans for solving this dilemma. You know what I found out? You want to know the root cause of the campaign finance reform demon that tears at our political soul? Simple, you are all a pack of raving morons. Once again, Americans have shown that they are the least-deserving recipients of democratic government in the history of the world.
Do you know what the whole issue boils down to folks? It is a pack of losers saying that since they are too damn lazy to read a candidates' positions, the politicians ought to walk around door to door and spell their beliefs out for them. It is people that have so little faith in their own intelligence and judgment, that they base their vote on a TV spot. What are you people thinking?
I hear people say all the time that money is destroying the democratic process. Nonsense! Apathy and stupidity are spoiling the democratic process. You want your representative to stop taking money from PAC's? Then you vote for one that won't take their money. If HE takes money from PAC's, you vote for someone else again. Eventually politicians will get the hint that it is in their best interests to run less expensive, more substantive campaigns. Trust me on this one, if there is one class of people in this world that reacts well to hints, it's politicians.
I also hear that if a candidate has too much money he can keep his opponent off of the airwaves, thus dooming his campaign. Kids, if you are basing your decision of who is going to be writing the laws that impact you life on the news you get from Television...you need a whole bunch more than campaign reform. Do you want to know where you can go to get information on the various candidates? Do you want my secret formula on staying well informed? You that bunch of paper that comes wrapped around the sports and comics every morning? It's called a newspaper, you might want to check one out come election time. They have all sorts of secret stuff like where the candidates stand on the issues and how the incumbents voted. You would be amazed at how little impact a thirty second spot has on your outlook when you know the facts.
Did you ever wonder why newspapers usually don't have political ads in them? It's because people that read newspapers are more likely to look at the ad critically and take it apart than someone who gets their news sandwiched between "Baywatch" and "Xena: Warrior Princess". Why take an ad out in the paper when the person reading it has the facts to refute it at his fingertips? That's just silly, when you have all those lunkheads out there sucking up your "Family Values" pabulum off of the TV.
It really is quite simple, folks. We don't need to enact yet more laws to govern the way our Democracy works. When you get right down to it, anything more than "one person, one vote" is pretty superfluous. What else, really, do you have to regulate? At it's core, democracy is a pretty easy concept to understand. If I like what you say about the issues I care about, I am going to vote for you. If on the other hand, I think you are a numbskull who couldn't govern his own bladder, I will not vote for you. The only thing that all of this money buys is advertising, folks! It doesn't change their positions on the issues, it doesn't change their voting record, it doesn't change what they believe. The only way that too much money can be damaging to politics is if it comes in the form of bribes and guess what, we have had laws against that for a long time now.
The problem boils down to one thing. The same thing that most political problems of the late twentieth century have boiled down to when you clear away the fluff. People are just too damn cynical or too damned bored or too damned stupid to use their vote wisely. Unfortunately, there is no movement to pass a law to stop that.