Bernie Sanders is Taking the Money Out of Politics

By Shlomo Maital


    Senator Bernie Sanders is running a long-shot campaign for the Democratic nomination for President.  Like all socialists, he has no chance of actually being elected, but very high probability that some of his ideas will be tamed and adopted by his rivals. 

     In today’s New York Times, a strong editorial reveals one other huge gift Sanders brings to the table.  He is raising money the old-fashioned way – one small gift at a time. The average donation to Sanders’ campaign is $31.30.   “It would be hard to buy any politician for $31.30”, says the Times.  Americans of ordinary means have given Sanders 400,000 donations, and 80 per cent of them were less than $200.  Now, contrast that with the fact that 400 of America’s wealthiest families, writing huge checks, account for half the money raised so far by both parties, Republicans and Democrats.  And Trump?  As a billionaire, he pays his own bills… and bought his way into the lead. 

     America’s Supreme Court, notes the Times, in its recent Citizens United decision, “has greatly boosted the buying power of corporate and special interest donors and made a casino frenzy of the (nomination) race”.     The Koch brothers, billionaires, organized 400 of their wealthy friends to create a super war chest of $889 million for Republican candidates.  Jeb Bush raised over $100 m. in big-check donations so far.  Even Hillary Clinton has raised over $20 m. in super-PAC money.

    When democracy is bought by the rich, who invariably seek (and get) favors in return from those whom they help elect,  it is no longer democracy.   So, good for you, Bernie!  Tear a strip off the big donors.  You bring honesty and sanity to this weird campaign.