Unintended Consequences of Republican Call for “Freedom to Fund Elections” – USA
Republicans live and die by some very simple mantra and Freedom is on them, irrespective that one person’s freedom, as per Law of Unintended Consequences should harm the society at large. Frankly, to some Republicans that concept of “society” itself represents individual bondage.
2008 Presidential Elections
From the perspective of funding elections, 2008 elections were a watershed. Obama based on the his personal charisma inspired large number of Democrats and Independents to fund his elections by small denominations contributions, much less than individual limit of $2,500.
Republican call for “Freedom to Fund” Elections
Lacking similar inspired base and dependents on a small number of large donors, Republicans raised the cry of Freedom to Fund elections without any financial limits. U.S. Supreme Court in the Citizen United case granted them their wish leading to birth to supposedly independent Super-PAC, allowing unlimited funding of elections.
These Super-PAC could raise huge funds from Billionaires/Millionaires to support their favorite candidates, unbothered by pesky individual limit of $2,500, as long as they maintained a fiction of independence in coordinating their actions with their favorite candidate.
Law of Unintended Consequences
Off course, than the Law of Unintended Consequences hit back and Republicans are now witnessing, first hand, its destructive power during the current Republic primary campaign.
Currently, all three Republican front-runners, (Romney, Gingrich and Santorum) are fighting each other using money muscle from their Super-PAC, funded by their favorite billionaire ( the ones who dropped out of race were without billionaires friends).
Billionaires and their favorite Politicians
Gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson has kept Newt Gingrich’s campaign alive with contributions of over $10 million (there is an apparent claim that he can raise it to $100 million)
Similarly, without money from Wyoming investor Foster Friess, Santorum never would have made it to the top of the polls.
Furthermore, without his financiers led by Texas’ Harold C. Simmons, Romney (a multi-millionaire in himself) wouldn’t never had the resources to respond to their vicious attacks (U.S. elections are frightfully expensive, nothing can be achieved without great deal of money – leading the the politicians being beholden to their contributors and lobbyist, post election).
Unintended Consequences – Ordinary Americans de-franchised
Unintended consequences of Republican call for “Freedom to Fund Elections” means that now candidates have no need to seek funds from millions through a genuine grassroots outreach, but from a few billionaires.
It is really sad that U.S. democratic structure is now openly bought and sold in the name of freedom. Even Obama has jumped in the campaign, so now we will see U.S. elections being decided by a few billionaires, without meaningful financial contribution and participation by regular Americans.
Suggested Solutions to Unintended Consequences
In light of the above, I am sure all Americans – Republican and Democratic hope that the U.S. Supreme Court Justices had anticipated the Unintended Consequences of their judgment leading to funding and control of U.S. elections by a few billionaires, behind the screen of Super-PACs. Overturning of Citizen United case by a new by Congress seems to only solution.
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