Sunday, October 18, 2015

Backing Bernie

I have made some small donations in the past to environmental causes, but this is the first time that I have contributed money to an individual political candidate.  My thirty bucks went to support the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

I like Sanders' focus on wealth and income inequality and his proposed remedies.  His proposals for reforming health care and education if enacted would put the U.S. back into a position of leadership in the developed world rather than bringing up the rear as is now the case..

Of equal importance to all the other policy proposals is Sanders' demand that the distortions of the democratic process caused by big money be eliminated.  Sanders is the only major party candidate who has turned away super pacs in favor of small donors, and he has mounted a credible challenge to all the rest who have not found the courage to follow his lead.

While it is widely agreed that the Supreme Court decision on campaign financing has undermined popular democracy, it should also be recognized that the decision does not require any candidate to accept super pac support.  There are clearly great hurdles to turning back the lure of big money to campaigns via legislative channels, but it seems given Sanders' example that it would be much more productive to simply demand of any candidates for office that they reject super pac funding.

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