Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Nothing Will Be Done About Campaign Finance Reform

Even if recent Supreme Court rulings hadn't destroyed campaign finance reform, the notion that voters actually care about fixing the system is laughable.

As the 2016 presidential race begins, 84 percent of Americans think money has too much influence in political campaigns now. Criticism of the role of money cuts across party lines - large majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents all think money has too much influence.

Most Americans see widespread problems with how election campaigns are funded in the United States. Forty-six percent think the system for funding political campaigns has so much wrong with it that it needs to be rebuilt completely, and another 39 percent think that while there are good things in the system, fundamental changes are needed. Just 13 percent of Americans think only minor changes are needed.

Americans across the political spectrum are critical of the way campaigns are financed, but independents are the most negative. Fifty-one percent of independents think the system must be completely rebuilt. And 46 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of Republicans agree.

On the surface it seems extremely simple: five out of six Americans think money has too much influence on politicians.  But like gun control or climate change, Americans just don't give enough of a damn to make fixing it a priority.

Most who think changes are needed are not optimistic that such changes will be forthcoming: 58 percent are pessimistic that changes will actually be made.

Nevertheless, very few Americans prioritize campaign finance over other domestic issues when asked to name the most important problem facing the country today. Americans' top issue priority continues to be the economy and jobs; health care and immigration follow. Less than one percent volunteer campaign fundraising as the most important issue facing the country.

It's hard to care even remotely about the billions going to pay off our politicians when you're out of work and can't put food on the table, I guess.

1 comment:

Horace Boothroyd III said...

This effect you identify, the gaping chasm between "what people will say to pollsters" and "what people will actually lift a finger to help change" has proven time and again to be the Achilles Heel of leftist activism in America. Well, that and the customary insistence on "Purity of Thought and Intentions" over "Expulsion of Really Bad Ideas that rest on Provably Untrue 'Facts'" as the core organizing principle.

So everyone wants money out of politics. Me too. We also want universal free top quality healthcare, low taxes, boobies on the tee vee, and a magic flying unicorn that poops chocolate ice cream and pees lemonade in every stable. The failure to distinguish between a politician who can realistically deliver these Good Things and a politician who describes these as good things in the course of presenting his four year action plan is the engine - fueled by raw nitro enthusiasm - driving the Firebaggers and Kossacks to desert their hideyholes and go all in for Bernie. As the regulars here know all too well, while I myself am a long time Social Democrat who would love to see Bernie in the White House - if properly supported by the legislative majorities required to in fact enact our leftist agenda - I am also sufficiently confident that a Firebagger- and Kossack-driven America would be disastrous not only for us but for the entire world. Thus, sorry Bernie but I can not believe that the time is ripe for a Red presidency.

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