Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA)
Requirements for a Presidential Candidate:
1. Be Controlled by the Donor/Establishment Class
2. Be a Multi-Billionaire-Maybe?
American Electorate Ticked off At Political Class,
Donor Class, Establishment Class, Etc.
Regardless of Political Party
All of the pundits totally missed the mood for the 2016 Presidential Primary in both parties. The mood of the country is ugly, highly emotional, politically volatile, and is DEAD ON RIGHTEOUS!
The electorate feels used and totally ignored by politicians they have elected whether it is their city’s Mayor or council person, or members of the US Congress and the President and everything in between. Politicians stand up when running and say anything the polls tell them “we the people” want to hear. Then, if they are in the US Congress, they meet with the “Good Ole Boys (and girls)” divvy up the cushy committee chairmanships and memberships, then do whatever their big bucks donors want! You want to know if your Senator or Congressman or woman is part of the establishment? Just check to see what committees they are on and especially if they chair the committee.
How does this Happen–Enter the Donor Class: There is a small group of people who actually impact a “normal” election. They are people who donate millions of dollars to buy politicians and make sure that the donor class policies remain intact. These people pre-select, along with the establishment of both parties, which candidates they want to run based on the candidates willingness to support the donor/establishment class policies. These polities include; Open borders, H-1A and B Visas, various types of trade agreement that allow for them to manufacture in countries with cheap labor; and tax policies that assure no one can move into their class our of the middle class.
BY THE TIME YOU GET TO VOTE, THE CANDIDATES AND THEIR OPPONENTS HAVE BEEN HAND PICKED AND YOU ARE CHOOSING BETWEEN THE LESSOR OF TWO EVILS, DEPENDING ON YOUR PERSONAL PREFERENCE.
How was the donor class created? Big Surprise, by our politicians of course! Congress has made sure to create laws that protect ways the donor class can maximize their contributions and thus maximize the impact on political campaigns.
The most recent was the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), McCain–Feingold Act. This act was touted to reduce the impact of big donors on elections but in fact set up mechanisms to ensure that the donor class could impact elections via their contributions. Ever heard of Super-PACS? Further, the authors were warned that specific exclusions by organization types that they put in the bill, regarding Super PACs and PACs, would be held as unconstitutional if it went to the Supreme Court because it discriminated against different types of organizations.
Many argue that this exclusion was intentional to hide the author’s true intent and let the courts take the heat for overturning the errant provisions of the statute. The court, in the often cited and quoted, Citizens United v. FEC (Federal Election Committee) did overturn the exclusion of specific groups when it came to the ability to make contributions to campaigns and initiatives. McCain/Feingold originally excluded restricting individual political expenditures by for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, labor unions and associations. The Supreme court decision remedied this exclusion so now corporations, for-profit and non-profit, labor unions and other associations are free to donate whatever they want to via Super-PACs that can us this money to directly advocate for a candidate or to run attack ads against candidates. (They are still kept from donating directly to a candidate’s campaign or to the RNC or DNC, so what?)
The impact of Congressional laws regulating campaign contributions has been to monetize the selection of our governmental representatives. In the SCOTUS decision of Citizens United, the court basically held that the first amendment’s free speech provision included political speech and that political speech in for form of campaign support was included. Further, it rightly extended protection to not only individuals, but to associations of people in the form of for-profit and non-profit corporations, unions, and other types of associations.
But, the fact that George Soros, Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and others can donate millions to Super-PACS and advocate for specific candidates, pretty much dwarfs an individual’s $2,700 per election per candidate. (You could give $2,700 in the primary election then $2,700 in the general election to the same candidate.) If an individual want to contribute to a PAC, not a Super-PAC, they can contribute $5,000 per year.
So, If I contribute my $5,400 to Candidate A for the primary and general elections, and George Soros donates $6,000,000 to a Super-PAC for Candidate A, how much influence would I have versus George Soros with Candidate A!
Multi-Billionaire Self Funded Candidate
Alternative: Billionaire Candidate?: Let me be clear, in today’s traditional media-centric campaigns, mere Millionaires do not have the capital to run for President and self-fund their campaign. Millionaires could, however run and self-fund a congressional campaign but most chose to solicit campaign donations rather than deplete their own funds. (I guess they are not all that keen on their own chance of winning!) Let’s stay on a Presidential race for purposes of this article.
The Billionaire candidate has always been looked at as “too rich to trust” and the epitome of the insider and establishment classes. The Democrats successfully branded Mitt Romney as a “1%er” and made that to mean that he was out of touch with the common men and women. This kept Mitt, if he would have been so inclined, to run as a Populist candidate.
Most billionaires have not been overly committed to using solely their own funds so have lost some of their pure self-funding virginity when it comes to being totally independent. It is also difficult for a Billionaire Candidate not to be distracted or conflicted by their own business interests and truly devote the time and energy that these campaigns require. Further, most Billionaires are not all that charismatic, i.e. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros, Koch Brothers, etc.. They may have been brilliant in business, but are not the types that want to kiss babies and work rope lines shaking hands. If they are not “all in” and are not charismatic, the electorate soon sees through this lack of personal panache and commitment.
Enter Donald J. Trump: Trump hit the scene as the Republican Populist Candidate, who is self-funding his campaign, and who is self-professed to have changed many of his heretofore liberal views and is now embracing many mainstream conservative positions from a POPULIST conservative perspective, rather than an intellectual conservative perspective (i.e. George Will, NRO). (For now, I will not take up specific positions.)
He has soared to be the #1 Republican Candidate nationally and is pretty much leading in most of the State wide polls. Whatever you think or don’t think of Donald Trump, he does have panache and has a very charismatic personality. He is polarizing in that you tend to either love or hate him and then fit what ever you think his positions are as justification to your opinion. He does not shrink from conflict, in fact he relishes it, and is always flamboyant in his public appearances.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, HE HAS THE KNACK TO ATTRACT MIDDLE AND LOWER INCOME SUPPORTERS AND THEY RELATE TO HIS MESSAGE, REGARDLESS OF THE INCOME GAP. HE IS THE CROSS-OVER CANDIDATE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS LONG SOUGHT, JUST IN THE WRONG PACKAGE, TRUMP! BUT, HIS LACK OF SUPPORT FROM THE PARTY AND THE ESTABLISHMENT IS A MAJOR PART OF WHY HE IS SUPPORTED BY MANY AND THAT SUPPORT CONTINUES TO GROW!
The Trump Risk Factor
You pretty much know what you are going to get with any traditionally funded candidate. At some point, the Donor/Establishment class is going to twist their arm to get what they want and can exhibit pressure on the bought and paid for Congress to help apply the pressure.
What are the risks of going with Donald Trump?
The litmus test is whether you think he is sincere in his new-found beliefs.
Trump could have easily ran as a Democrat against a potential Felon and a Socialist and stayed with his old beliefs and won the Democrat Primary pretty easily.
Why run as a Republican against 12+ other candidates who have everything from Establishment credentials to ultra Conservative credentials and have to defend your newly found beliefs? Maybe he is sincere?