Political Campaigning: Are Super PACs Still The Answer?

Graph_New Super PACs 2012-thumb-500x266-5297.bmpEthan Bachand ’18
EE Staff Writer

As the election date gets closer, American politicians are preparing themselves for the primaries and caucuses to earn the people’s vote. Earn is a nice way to put it: the amount of money being channeled into each of the campaigns is reaching unprecedented amounts. This facilitating of millions of dollars worries the American people, as their voices are muffled by the multi-billion dollar corporations and other donors that fund these politicians who claim to be champions of the people.

    But is this frivolous campaign spending having the intended effect? As we see in the 2016 presidential race, candidates hope to connect with the American people by claiming that a majority of their donations come from the “average” american and not through Super PACs (Political Action Committee). Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has so far succeeded on this platform. With only 5% of his total campaign funds coming from Super PACs, Trump boasts the fact that a significant part of his donations come from individuals who simply support what he stands for. On the other side of the isle, 98% of donations for Democrat Bernie Sanders are less than $200.

    This leads to question, is big money still the answer to winning the oval office? While some may argue that Super PACs are necessary, there seems to be a change in the political landscape. People want to see someone that can relate more to them, a candidate who does not just sell out to major corporations. The American people want someone who is going to fight for their rights, not the rights of the billionaire class who look down on those less than themselves. Therefore, it seems fair to say that Super PACs are no longer the answer.

   Suffice to say, the power now lies with the millions of people who have to go to work everyday just to keep food on the table, not the wealthy who sit around doing nothing. This is not to say that getting small donations will get you to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but rather that it is more of what people want to see.  Many citizens have been calling for legislation to fix campaign finance reform so that Super PACs are no longer an option. Whether millionaires like it or not, change is coming, and it’s the rest of the country causing it.


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