Proposed new law: Any contribution to a political candidate, a candidate’s campaign, a candidate’s mother, a candidate’s wife, a candidate’s mistress, or a candidate’s mister, when applicable, that exceeds $250 and especially if it exceeds $50 million, shall be deemed an attempt to bribe the candidate. Offenders shall be dismembered digit-by-digit, fed to crocodiles and punished to the full extent of the law.
In this divided country it would be hard to get agreement on such wording. You know somebody would slip in an amendment saying “this only applies to the other side.” It is, however, increasingly apparent that money buys elections. Is there any other reason that, as the papers are reporting, all these organizations with good government or patriotic names are raising money in the sneakiest way possible, money that is hard to trace but it is invariably used to support their friends or, more likely, attack people with whom they differ? And why is that all the big money comes from big entities, such as major corporations, or secretive groups of people skirting campaign laws by hiding their identities. The reason is obvious: They either want something from the candidates they support, or want to stop candidates they think will hurt their agenda to do something controversial, such as polluting the environment to make money, or bringing in big-time gambling.
There are some who think that giving money to a politician, hoping to get something back, is a bribe. But when that gift is a campaign contribution, and the beneficiary knows he can live off those contributions and, as we have seen, make all life’s expenses seem legitimate costs of running for office, then it is OK. And it is especially OK if the entity making the contribution can hide behind some name such as “Honest Floridians for Dirty Crooked Government.” We throw that invention out, confident that we will not be infringing on any established trademark.
It has gotten to the point where the influence of money is so strong that even after the latest shooting tragedy, neither of the two men running for president of the United States is willing to condemn a law which permits the sale of military weapons to nut cases. They know such a position could cost them the election. And how do you define a nut case before he shows up in court with international-orange hair and a stare that is right out of “Guadalcanal Diary”? Well, any civilian who feels a need to own an assault rifle might qualify as a nut. But don’t say that if you are running for office.
Would a simple law changing the word “contribution” to “bribe” change anything? Maybe. But only until The Patriotic Committee To Make Bribes Politically Acceptable for All Americans pays off its boys to advocate repeal. By gun-point if needed.