The Money Hunt
Here is a quandary. What does one do if a political party or candidate continually asks for money? For the sake of argument, one might actually support the party or candidate, but asking all the time is a bit much.
What if the opposite party or candidate represents all that is unacceptable? Is this reason enough to contribute to one party or candidate? Why is one contribution not enough?
In fact what does one do if one gives to one candidate and suddenly receives email requests from a half dozen other candidates from the same party? And, what if theses email request arrive several time a day from the same candidate?
There are two easy answers. (1) Send a small amount, and (2) ignore the request completely.
Soliciting money is an art form. Soliciting a lot of money separates the adults from the kids. For these money raisers, the issue seems to be “money”, not the candidate or what the candidate represents. (Consider all the special causes, like hospitals, diseases, or groups like veterans who are proposed as reasons to give and subsequently we find less than half the money collected goes actually to that charity. Hmmm.)
Political money solicitation is actually part of an extensive food chain. These bags of money fund a host of others who strategize, coordinate, plan, and execute campaign operations. This money fuels speech writing, TV advertisements, van drivers, office space, and campaign events. Campaign buttons, signage, wardrobe and make up artists, and even lunch runners, all feed off this same food chain.
In short, if you give more, the candidate or the campaign spends it. (In some cases, candidates stockpile excess money and use it later for themselves and to influence others.)
It appears clear, politics is now fought with dollar bills, not great ideas or sound policies.
When the dust is settled in November, news reports and full length magazine articles will turn up recounting the “billions” spent in 2016 for the alleged purpose of electing Congressional and Presidential candidates. The gist will be how much money was spent with so little insight into the next 4 years. Reports will probe where the money came from… like billionaire X, Y, or Z.
Reports are very unlikely to list who received the campaign spend, like TV station or network Q, R, or S. And most likely there will be no inventory of the usual suspects who acted as advisors, strategists, and field leaders, or what these individuals received in renumeration.
This modern political world is not about policy, not about ideology, and not about telling the truth. Rather, modern politics is about the next 4 year viability surrounding the generation of money.
As long as the major parties can generate huge sums of money whether they win or lose, who cares? Like Major League Baseball, a losing campaign which can still attract money can hire the best of the rest, in essence restocking their back stage team (not the candidates) in the run up to the next election. These political pros will sleep well knowing they have good paying jobs until the next election and can put their minds to doing what they do, this time for a new candidate.
So, back to the original question, what does one do about the bombardment of email requests for money?
I would recommend (1) no contributions period. Candidates will attract enough money directly form people who could directly benefit from the candidate or party’s influence (like corporations, billionaires, and special interests). And, (2) if you are a strong supporter for an issue, policy, or broad ideology, I would suggest a single donation and no more. This single donation should satisfy one’s conscience while not contributing greatly to the wasteful use of campaign donations.