The writing has been on the wall for years that the courts would soon have campaign finance limits going the way of the dodo. So now that this has (all but) come to pass, it is critical that the reform community centralize around a plan which features both a workable & effective reform which does not utilize limits, as well as a nimble & multi-faceted strategy to enact that reform. We must then figure out a way to explain this plan in an easy-to-understand manner, which allows the average voter to buy in and mobilize in a way they’ve been unwilling to in prior elections.
Whether the Common Sense Cure is that plan or not, it is at the least a model of what such a plan might resemble. There are lots of other plans out there, some similar, others not. Whichever plan reformers rally around however, to succeed it must have both an effective reform and a workable strategy
…and it must be nonpartisan!
This was the other issue The Cure sought to address in its initial incarnation, that too often, the idea of campaign finance reform, or any other attempt to mitigate the influence of money, was a partisan, liberal affair. Reformers should work to dispel this idea –and some do – but too often, you’ll hear the need for reform mixed in with other, more traditional political arguments. This muddies the waters and alienates potential allies.
To make matters worse, many in the reform community align themselves closely with members of the Democratic Party. Of course, it would be silly to spurn allies who are in a position of power and can help one’s cause, but there must be more visible outreach to the Republican Party so that this doesn’t become just another partisan issue lost in the whirlwind of noise. Even if the Democrats are more natural allies, there are Republicans who agree on this issue and there is a damaging perception that little is being done to work with them.
Plus, after years of alliance, where has working with Democrats gotten reformers? Nowhere is the answer, because even well-meaning Democrats see this issue primarily as a way of raising money & support. Well-meaning or not, they all know they’re unlikely to ever have to take a meaningful stand on the issue when government is now so systematically corrupt from top to bottom.
So Democrats aren’t the answer if success is the goal. No, this has to be an independent movement composed of those from all across the political spectrum, demanding the sort of changes that a captured government cannot & will not apply to itself, or it will surely fail.
Of course, reaching out to those with whom you might disagree politically can be tough when the media and people trying to raise money for political operations work so tirelessly to convince us that those on the other side are horrible, evil people. But the reality is the people with whom you disagree politically mostly want the same things – a good job and a happy life for them & theirs – they just don’t agree on how best to accomplish our nation’s goals.
However, so long as money rules in politics, all of it is just a sideshow anyway. If we put aside our differences and work together to fix the issue at the heart of things, we remove the true impediment to finding solutions which might ultimately satisfy both sides. The people who run things want us distracted and at each other’s throats. Nothing scares them more than when we set aside differences and work together (which should tell you something).
Forget Iraq, Afghanistan or the War on Terror; getting the corrupting influence of money out of politics is the defining battle of our generation. Until we fix this, things are just going to keep getting worse and worse, and no amount of hunkering down and hoping disaster doesn’t find you will prevent that. This will touch us all in a profoundly negative way in the end and it is time all of us get to work in whatever way we can to find a solution. A captured government won’t fix itself. We must fight or surrender…there is no third option.