Do you have a favorite candidate during this current Presidential race? If so, how genuine do you feel his or her motives are? Ever think about the amount of money being spent on this election to try and win your vote?
Back in February, the New York Times reported that there had already been $1 billion raised for the total candidates, though most have since dropped out of the race.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the top four remaining candidates alone have raised nearly half a billion (pictured below) with still another 6 months before the general election, and that’s with one of them funding most of his campaign by himself.
What is happening with this money? It is being spent on advertising, research, travel costs and paying staff, primarily. The money is being used to try and convince each of us that the respective candidates are the best ones to lead our country.
Despite my personal displeasure once again with the choices we have for President, I am even more disheartened by the hundreds of millions of dollars that could otherwise do much more good for Americans.
With the $1 billion dollars raised for the Presidential election, we could have done any one of the following with the money instead:
– Treat tens of thousands of children afflicted with cancer and other diseases through hospitals such as St. Jude to give them a chance at living
– Provide permanent housing and job training for many of the nation’s homeless (and statistically, saving more money as taxpayers as a result).
– Help rehabilitate tens of thousands of people addicted to drugs and alcohol as well as other non-violent criminal offenders, which then saves lives, reduces crime and saves taxpayer money
There are endless possibilities, but I think you get the point.
Clearly people are able to come up with money when they feel motivated for a cause. Maybe if we put a cap on the amount of money that can be spent on an election and diverted those funds elsewhere we would be in much better shape as a country, and we wouldn’t elect a President based on media soundbites. With the digital age, there are much more cost-effective ways to get messages out and communicate with people. But then again, that might mean we also have to go through an overhaul of politics as we know it in Washington, D.C. and the controlling two-party pissing match.