Campaign Finance Reform: Nothing Changes Unless We Change It

16Feb18

But first, a sports story: I was a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs. I owned lots of gear and went to many games. I was a paying customer — practically a citizen or constituent of Wrigley Field. In 2008, the Cubs were the best team in the National League, with their best chance at a World Series in decades.

They lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Dodgers. Not just lost: swept. And not just swept. Destroyed. It was embarrassing. It was so embarrassing that I began to ask, “What am I getting from this relationship?”

I took this very seriously, and realized that the Chicago Cubs were a business with a product (the team) that they relied on me to buy. As long as I paid for an inferior product — and as long as that inferior product could turn a profit — there would be no incentive to change that product. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

If all the Cubs were interested in was money, then I would not give them any more. So I left the Cubs.

I thought of this story because of the current political world, particularly in light of the Florida high school shooting. And ESPECIALLY particularly in light of the back-and-forth online, with people from both sides trumpeting the same things over and over again. Arguing gets us nowhere. It never changes anyone’s mind.

I thought some more, and thought of my relationship with the Cubs in 2008. If we continue to do the same thing without treating the root cause of the problem, nothing will change.

The cause, as always, is money. This week we’ve seen lots of articles and posts labeling the politicians who have accepted campaign funding from the NRA. And that’s not the only problem we face: there’s the deterioration of the environment, big pharmacies, on and on and on.

The only way to impact anything is through money. That’s why campaign finance reform should be everyone’s biggest focus from now until it gets enforced. The beauty of campaign finance reform is that it should be a non-partisan issue. Nobody would stand up for a special interest lobbying for a corporate interest. Not really. They would stand up for *people* who have that interest, but that’s different.

Campaign contributions drown out our voices and votes, while allowing the message of the well-funded special interest to be amplified.

So I did the only meager thing I could: I wrote a letter.

I think if we want change, we should focus on campaign finance reform. Root out the money, root out the problems. Even the playing field. Put out a superior product. Win the World Series.
***********

I’m a concerned constituent and citizen. I am furious and frustrated when I hear of the latest tragedy to strike our citizens, with no clear path for change. Our representatives represent only their campaign supporters and the special interest groups funding them.

As I consider the various problems plaguing our communities, I believe positive change can only occur when we eliminate this corruption and truly put people above profits. I believe this change would be accomplished through campaign finance reform.

Campaign finance reform feels like a bipartisan issue — who has ever argued in favor of special interest groups except for the groups themselves? — so I hope you can find a way to bridge the gap, work with members from all parties and make true progress for all Americans.

Thank you so much,

This is the answer. I believe it. It runs everything, so we need to run it. Please feel free to steal this letter and share everywhere. Remember: If your representatives don’t represent you, then make sure they aren’t your representatives any more.

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