From idealism to reality
I believe that many, if not most, of our elected federal representatives enter their first term in office with the best of intentions, but also viewing this as a first step in a long career in politics. I suspect that it only takes a matter of months for a savvy house member to realize that he or she will need party support to achieve reelection and that effort will need to commence well prior to the election date. I tend to generalize here so I apologize. Not all members fall into this category. A few have such a tremendous level of local support that their reelection is virtually assured. Most also are aware of that the source of campaign funds comes from a relatively few very large sources, whom we might consider investors, “investors” with special interests. It is no wonder that campaigning for political office commences so far in advance of the election date. Is it possible for our representatives to look out for the common good while their focus is on reelection?
The most important element of our election process is funding. While not always true, it is a fact that the candidate with the most campaign money usually is victorious. Removing this factor from our election process would be the first step in the remission process (yes, I do view it as a cancer). Unfortunately the very folks that like it the way it is are the ones with the power to change it, short of a Constitutional Amendment. One way to level the financial playing field would be to do away with PACs & Lobbyist and limit individual contributions to a very low level, say $500 or less per taxpayer. Among others would be to restrict any and all campaigning to the 60 day prior to the election.
Stay tuned, more to follow on this topic