Sharp: The Financial Cost of Politics-As-Usual in America has Left Us Unrepresented by Our Own Government

by | Dec 14, 2023 | Opinion

America is the greatest nation to ever grace the planet. That is a fact that should never be disputed. Our founding fathers were brilliant, and framed a government that was designed to be of the people and for the people.  The greatest early leaders in American history were average citizens who sacrificed at great personal loss to serve their country.

The main requirement to serve your country during the early days of America was a burning flame of patriotism. Fast forward to modern times. The main requirement to serve your country now is the ability to spend millions of dollars campaigning in order to be elected.  

During the 2018 midterms, the average cost to win a Congressional seat exceeded 2 million dollars. Wining a seat in the United States Senate was substantially higher at over 15 million dollars. This staggering amount of money makes it nearly impossible for the American electorate to choose one of their own to represent them.  

Presidential races are even worse. During the 2020 presidential cycle, 4.1 billion dollars was raised and spent during a 24-month period. The substantial amount of money that has flooded elections has guaranteed that the best ideas no longer win. It is now who can raise and spend the largest amount of money to generate interest. The candidates are not to blame. They are simply living within the guard rails that have been created for them. The blame could logically be placed at the feet of the American electorate.  American voters have been conditioned to vote red or vote blue regardless of who. The political parties recognize this and spend substantial amounts of money, time, and energy to destroy anyone who stands in their chosen candidate’s way during the primary.  

America will be great again when the electorate realizes that they must research their votes and truly decide what matters to them. Until that day happens, establishment politicians will continue feeding their candidates into voter’s minds via television ads, digital mailers and radio ads while voters commute. Incumbents hold a substantial advantage regarding fundraising due to name recognition as well as ties to lobbying groups. With no term limits at a federal level and incumbents able to seemingly raise unlimited funds, there is a massive roadblock in introducing news ideas, thoughts and processes into American government.  

This is a complex problem and will require complex solutions that aren’t universal.  For starters, every elected office in America must have term limits. We currently have campaign finance laws in place for contributions, but none for spending, that must also change. Media time must be distributed fairly. Campaigns are big business, and the business aspect of politics must be relegated to the backseat and representing the people made a priority again.  

There were lots of theories circulating after the 2020 presidential election regarding the fact that it may have been stolen. I would ask how many elections in the past 50 years were legally stolen by simply being purchased.  This isn’t just a problem at the Federal Level, we’ve seen it trickle down to state legislatures and county commissions also. With local elections costing in excess of $100,000 and state legislature races exceeding $1,000,000.  

Legislative power has been assigned monetary value by special interest and political parties. These groups are willing to invest substantial sums of money to retain this power as it serves them well financially to do so. Freedom loving Americans have 2 options at this point. They must either counter the big money by joining together to arm liberty candidates with the tools necessary to win, or they must accept that they will continue to be unrepresented at any level of government. 

Follow Tim Sharp on X at @realtimsharp.

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