Money, and the Pursuit of Politics

by Bernard McCormick Wednesday, July 20, 2011 No Comment(s)

Money can't buy happiness, but it does a pretty good job on elections.

We know this because the media is filled with stories, not about what candidates stand for, but how much money they raised this week. Thus we know well before the next presidential election that Newt Gingrich is not serious about running because he hasn't raised enough money. In fact, none of the candidates have, except those who are going to win because everybody loves a winner, and gives them money. The Supreme Court, in a decision last year, agreed that money can buy elections and voted to permit the richest people and richest corporations to give all they want to candidates of their choice, so that those candidates can then appoint Supreme Court justices who will give even more money to the candidates.

That decision, oddly enough, was reportedly based on the preservation of free speech. If one wonders about the logic there, just remember the old adage: Money talks, so the more money you have, the more talk you can afford.

Which gets us closer to the elusive point, which is that if money buys elections, we should know pretty well in advance who is going to win by simply counting up each candidate's bank account. And if we are pretty sure who is going to win, what’s the point of having an election?

Obviously, no point. And here is where what is now simply an innovative idea crosses the gold bar toward brilliance. Let’s set up the deal so that a month or two before the election, whichever comes first, there be a deadline to determine who has raised the most money, and therefore is the likely winner in November. But, this is key to the scam, at this point none of the money can be actually spent, except for loopholes in the law which permit money to be spent to raise even more money, even if some of that money goes to magazine advertising. With such loopholes inevitable in any endeavor in which humans participate there should still be a ton of money left, unspent, untainted, pure as an election in Hialeah.

At this point, much if not all the money should be unspent, except in cases in which candidates spend all their money to get more money, in which much if not all the money will be unspent. That’s a problem, but we can tweak that later. For today’s purposes, let’s assume most of the money has not been spent. So we can then return all the money to the original contributors.

So we have a new president without the hassle of an actual election. The people who contributed money get it back, so instead of going to political consultants and TV ads, it will go to the stock market and taverns, where it should have gone in the first place.

We ran the idea by a constitutional scholar, whose name, oddly enough, is Supreme Kort, and she said the idea made total sense, and was therefore likely unconstitutional. But she said the constitution can be changed, and often is, depending on whose money rules the court.

“Law is about change,” she said. “Nothing is written in stone. It’s written in money, and you can always keep the change.”

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