Getting Money Out of Politics

Election 2016’s core issue, and why we can’t afford to forget it.

I remember the moment I realized that Bernie Sanders’ uniting message, his number one priority, was getting the money out of politics. Everything else: the health care, the education, the expansion of Social Security — every single other part of Bernie’s manifesto is what we call in advertising “Aspirational”. If Bernie Sanders only got one thing done in office, it would be getting the money out of politics. (He’s said as much in debates and rallies, and it’s this message that appealed to conservatives as well as progressives.

Now, staunch supporter that I am, I have some questions on the precise method we use to get there, but realistically?

I’m on board for the ride and Bernie’s the only candidate in the race who’s funded by a broad array of individuals. Clinton’s campaign exists within the traditional funding structure of a modern presidential election. Trump…for a start, somewhere on Facebook I read about Trump’s bid for the Buffalo Bills, and how this election is costing him less than an NFL franchise. More importantly, there are murmurs that he’s going to start getting super PAC and (if you can believe it) Mob backup.

So yes, this time around, everything else is secondary. Because I have one issue. That issue is to get the money out of politics.

If your one issue is getting the money out of politics, vote Bernie. If he somehow doesn’t get on the Democratic ballot, consider Jill Stein — she’s a Green party candidate who also doesn’t accept special interest money. I don’t know Gary Johnson’s position on this, but I know that back in March he was polling above 10% in a three-way race between him, Clinton and Trump , so if that trend has held true then the Libertarians may end up with some power next time around. Sanders Democrats don’t disagree with every policy those groups hold..

My point is, if your number one issue is getting the money out of politics, don’t let the media fool you: you have choices come November regardless of who ends up carrying nominations for the two major parties.

Where everyone needs to be shifting their focus is to congressional and local races, and in a big way: find out who’s running and whether they take special interest money, and if there’s not an option, start figuring out how to get on your local ballot as either a write-in or an independent.