"Don't hate the players, hate the game." That old saying seems particularly appropriate for our current campaign finance system that seems to reward those who least deserve it. The Washington Post's Ezra Klein had a piece yesterday bemoaning how despite bringing our economy to the brink of collapse, being bailed out by the taxpayers, and getting protected in Congress, Wall Street continues to be the go-to spot for high-dollar campaign fundraising.
The reason: that's where the money is, and that's how the game is played.
From the Klein piece:
"If we don’t want them (politicians) kowtowing before bankers and hedge-fund managers, well, we have to change the laws governing our elections, not whine about politicians who’re playing the game as we’ve set it up."
Klein goes on, "I‘ve always thought one of the interesting 'what-ifs' of the Obama administration was a world in which they’d launched a campaign last year to pass the Fair Elections Now Act based on the argument that the banks and assorted other special-interests simply had too much power in Washington."
It's no wonder the American people feel anger toward Wall Street and the politicians who seem to be working on it's behalf. But, as Klein points out, these folks are simply playing the game as it currently exists. And as Klein also shows, it doesn't have to be that way.
The Fair Elections Now Act would allow office-seekers to forgo trips to Wall Street and lobbyist fundraisers and instead focus on their constituents, who they are supposed to be looking out for in the first place. We can continue to scream from the mountaintops about corrupt politicians and their funders on Wall Street, but until we offer an alternative to the way we currently do things, we're going to continue to see the same results.
For more infrmation on the Fair Elections Now Act, click here.