Don’t Blame the Super PACs. Blame Yourself

Maybe Herman Cain was on to something. Well, sort of; at least when it comes to the self-blame game. Before you start choking on a slice of Godfather Pizza, keep reading.

Sheldon Adelson’s wife followed in her husband’s footsteps by making a $5 million contribution to Winning Our Future, the super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich. Proponents of campaign finance reform are absolutely, positively freaking out. They keep yelling and screaming about Citizens United, about millionaires and billionaires buying elections, about money controlling policy. Blah blah blah. Do you know what blah blah blah is? It’s an excuse. Here’s the sad truth – nobody gives a crap about campaign finance reform. Here’s a sadder truth – the reason nobody gives a crap about campaign finance reform is caring about it would require voters to actually think about issues, think about who would be best suited to represent them, think period.

There is a reason why Newt Gingrich went from dead man walking to very much alive and kicking in the GOP Presidential race. The influx of super PAC money gave him, oops sorry, his supporters the financial strength to take over the traditional and emerging media airwaves and persuade the lazy, double oops, uninformed hearts and minds of Americans. In fairness to Newt, the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney did the same thing for their favorite Mormon in Iowa. And let’s be really honest, super PACs for President Obama will get in high gear in fairly short order.

Look, I’m hardly a backer of 1% philosophies; however, I strongly believe in the notion of personal responsibility. It is Team Sheldon Adelson’s prerogative to shell out more money than I will ever see in my lifetime to a super PAC. He’s not the first billionaire to do it and certainly won’t be the last on either side of the aisle. But his actions should not be a Get Out of Jail Free Card for voters too apathetic to conduct independent and thoughtful political research.

It is so easy to watch a derisive ad on television or on YouTube and accept its content on merit; i.e. a super PAC is calling the President a socialist or an avowed Muslim so by golly it must be true. Negative propaganda has been a political cancer without a cure for centuries because it works. And the success of these tactics is, in my opinion, squarely the fault of the voting population. Instead of bitching and moaning about money floating around in politics, those individuals doing the bulk of the complaining have to do more than base their decisions on a rhetoric-infused tweet or scathing 30 second political advertisement. They have to read a newspaper. They have to visit political blogs. They have to attend traditional or social media town halls. They have to listen out for debate insights, not intentional red meat distractions. They have to do something most Americans just don’t like doing – take personal responsibility for the state of politics and become engaged in the process.

 

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Thanks to PolitiComment.com for the Super Pac graphic!

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