[ExI] Campaign Finance and the candidates

Chris Hibbert hibbert at mydruthers.com
Sun Mar 20 22:22:38 UTC 2016

On Mar 17, "William Flynn Wallace"<foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Maybe it isn't this bad in DC, or maybe it's worse.  I dunno.  But fixing
>> campaign financing would seem to help us all and cost us nothing.  Who is
>> going to lobby for this besides Ralph Nader, Consumer Reports, and the like
>> in other words, not contributors?

There does seem to be a broad consensus that campaign financing is 
broken, but I don't think there's broad agreement on which problem needs 
to be fixed. I don't think I'm alone here in thinking there isn't an 
actual problem that can be solved with more restrictions. Campaign 
finance is the kind of speech that should be most protected under our 
constitution. The primary argument against free speech on political 
issues seems to be that spending in this way will corrupt public 
officials, but the campaign finance controls that we have make that more 
true, not less. And much spending on political speech isn't about a 
candidate at all. I'm fully in favor of the outcome of the Citizens 
United decision, which said that people are free to band together to 
spend their money advocating political positions. Much of the 
"consensus" that campaign reform is broken agrees with this, but I don't 
think a majority could be found to agree that that is the problem with 
our current system.

>> We don't like what is going on in Washington.  Trump shows us that in
>> spades.  I would not vote for him for dogcatcher, but we do need someone(s)
>> to radically change the way our representatives do their business.

I'd agree that Trump's success shows that there are a lot of people who 
don't like what is going on in Washington. I don't think Trump's success 
shows that there is a consensus on what the problem is or what should be 
done about it. One of Trump's strengths is in uniting people who think 
something is wrong without saying what the problem is or what he 
advocates doing that would make things better.

Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> replied:
> In theory this is part of what Sanders may attempt...if he can get the
> nomination.  (Sanders vs. Trump, despite what some say, seems almost
> guaranteed not-Trump.  Of course, so does Clinton vs. Trump.  And that's
> assuming Trump isn't on the take, driving out all other Republican
> contenders with intent to abdicate his campaign between nomination and
> November.)

This seems like a narrow viewpoint, which probably derives from being 
surrounded by people who do not favor Trump. From where I sit (even 
though I'm in Silicon Valley, and hence surrounded by liberals) it 
appears that two thirds of the electorate are afraid of Trump, two 
thirds are afraid of Clinton, and a different two thirds are afraid of 
Sanders. I'm in the minority (perhaps it's as big as a quarter of the 
electorate) who thinks it's scary to contemplate any of them being CIC, 
appointing cabinet heads, and able to issue executive orders.

I don't know how it's going to end, but I've heard a fair amount about 
Trump's ability to grandstand, cast aspersions, and duck away from fair 
attacks. OTOH, I may be afraid of him the least, since my main complaint 
is that there's no predicting what he'll try. The policy goals I expect 
the other to to pursue are worse than that.

It is easy to turn an aquarium into fish soup, but not so
easy to turn fish soup back into an aquarium.
-- Lech Walesa on reverting to a market economy.

Chris Hibbert
hibbert at mydruthers.com

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