Our Corporate Bribery System
This weekend’s brouhaha over campaign financing gave viewers a rare glimpse at the real force propelling the march to the White House: legal tender. Republican Party Chairman Ed Gillespie was on the talk shows vainly attempting to defend the president’s fiscal purity against charges from the Kerry camp. Notice I said “attempting.” Even P. T. Barnum couldn’t sell that line to a roomful of suckers.
Let me be blunt: both of our major political parties are equally deep in the muck and mire of corrupt campaign funds. Last week, Bush’s campaign posted a video ad on its website titled “Unprincipled,” reciting how much money Kerry’s campaigns have received from lobbyists. Kerry’s campaign responded with a web ad that said Bush has “taken more special interest money than anyone in history.” The Democrats can rail all they like against Bush, and the money-drenched Republican National Committee can get as pious as it wants to about Kerry’s financing, but the whining is pure “chutzpah,” as one New York newspaper described it.
Of course, the contretemps won’t last long, if only because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Even Bush must know that the longer he keeps shooting at Kerry he will inevitably get caught in the crossfire. You see, like a royal marriage, a political campaign is not about love or natural affection; it is a power arrangement, pure and simple. Whether Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, the name of the game is “the money.”
It’s a sad commentary on the state of national politics, isn’t it? Here we have a system in which both parties are equally adept at messing with the U.S. Constitution. Today’s two-party collusion with corporate profiteers is hardly surprising, though it continues to be appalling. What is surprising is that this subversion of our political system has been going on all these years with the full knowledge of We the People if not our out-and-out consent.
Friends, the bottom line is simple. If you’re interested in principle this election, forget it. Both parties stand on principal (no pun intended). It doesn’t take a very bright bulb to see that both Bush and Kerry know from personal experience what it is like to sell their souls to corporations and unions in order to become a candidate. Indeed, if fund-raising muscle is the measure of a successful candidacy, President Bush has nothing to be ashamed of.
Meanwhile, Big Business will continue to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into Election 2004, which is why neither party will be mentioning campaign finance reform any time soon. But there’s no one to blame but ourselves. The Bush-Cheney-Kerry-Edwards-Dean Republicrats have given us what we as a nation deserve: an immoral, unbiblical, and unconstitutional corporate autocracy, funded by a crude bribery system. Which makes me wonder: Shouldn’t this scam cause more Americans than ever to vote their consciences and go third party this year?
February 17, 2004
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. His latest book, Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon, will be released this year.