Most Americans, regardless of political party, do not approve of current campaign financing laws, saying that the wealthy have too much influence over elections, reported The New York Times.
The NYT collaborated with CBS News to find out what Americans think about campaign finance laws. Most Americans think money has too big of a role in politics and support complete campaign finance reform. According to the poll, 84 percent of Americans say money has too much influence in elections.
“I think it’s an obscene thing the Supreme Court did,” said Terri Holland, 67, of Citizens United. “The old-boy system is kind of dead, but now it’s the rich system. The rich decide what’s going to happen because the Supreme Court allows PACs to have civil rights.”
Five years ago, the Supreme Court upheld Citizens United, ruling that money is considered free speech and that political action committees (PACs) have civil rights.
Voters in both parties are unified in believing that campaign finance disclosure laws are too loose, that the wealthy influence elections more than common Americans, and that campaign finance reform would fix the problem. That politicians no longer serve the people and instead serve their corporate overlords is a well-established fact.
“Candidates for political office are not in it just to serve the people; they also want the prestige and the perks,” said retired Georgia resident Elaine Manne. “They get so many little fringe benefits from being in office. Candidates should have to live for a period of time the way their average constituents live.”
The problem is so rampant that average Americans feel helpless and that the big-money political machine is too large to overcome. As the NYT noted, many Americans “described politics as a province of the wealthy.”
One of the most striking examples of corporate control of politics are Charles and David Koch. The Koch brothers have publicly said that they will spend $1 billion on their favorite Republican candidates in the upcoming 2016 elections. The Kochs have no one’s interest in mind, except their own.
The campaign finance tragedy isn’t exclusive to the Republicans. Democrats are also swept up in big money politics. Hillary Clinton has received millions of dollars from Wall Street. Yet, she remains quiet on campaign finance reform as well as Wall Street regulation. Like many Democrats, she’s a corporate shill.
Most Americans believe that their voice is drowned out by the billions spent by corporations on political campaigns. Politicians now serve those corporations, instead of the public. Big money has killed true, American democracy.