Who Raises Most Money Wins Elections

Aside from formal qualifications like citizenship, residence and age, where it applies, what personal attributes are required of political candidate running for office in these United States? Integrity? Honesty? Intelligence? Wisdom? Knowledge of the issues? A sterling education? A successful career in other fields? The answer is none of the above. The main, if not the sole, requirement is the ability to raise money. Candidates who significantly outdo their opponents in raising money invariably win. No polls or expert analyses needed to predict the outcome of elections. The greater pile of cash enables the better fund-raisers to buy more newspaper, radio and TV ads; retain savvier advisers; get invited to more talk shows; enlist more bloggers and media commentators; hire the best speech writers, coaches, make-up artists and wardrobe designers—in short, make themselves more attractive to voters. For idolaters of the rich and famous the ability of candidate to raise big bucks is suffcient proof proof that that they have what it takes to lead. And once candidates are voted into office, once empowered to negotiate earmarks, dispense favors and raise money at will, their re-elections are virtually assured. And, barring term limits or gross criminal conduct, in power they remain as long their health holds out or the Grim Reaper overtakes them. We denounce foreign dictators who cling to power for life, yet fail to see that many of our elected officials end up doing the same. It’s all a matter of scope and degree. Then, on the other side of the equation, is the gullibility of a sizable portion the citizenry and the indifference of the rest. There was a good reason why the Founding Fathers sought to found a Republic governed by an honor-bound, enlightened elite, not a one-man-one-vote vulgar (the 18th century word for "popular")democracy.

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