As the Presidential election in November 2012 approaches, we marvel at the amount of money raised and spent to influence the outcome of elections across the land, Presidential, Senate, and Congressional, all the way down to County Judges and County Commissioners.
Yet, at the same time, it is amazing that an educated populace, with every opportunity to follow the news and legislative actions of their elected officials and the positions of candidates are so easily manipulated by a candidate who has "X" to spend to run for office.
For example, in the March election, Tom Brinkman, Jr. was undoubtedly more qualified and more in tune with his district's priorities than Peter Stautberg, but because Stautberg had the resources of the House Caucus at his disposal, he handily defeated "Tax Killer" Tom Brinkman.
Who are these people whose vote changes based upon radio and television ads and mailings into homes? Now, think about that moreso in the Presidential contest, where everyone could be fully informed, for free (using, say, the Internet), and has had years and years to consider their positions.
These gullible saps, who are swayed by slick advertising productions, cause the scramble for campaign dollars, which would be entirely unnecessary if they would just read and discern for themselves.
And what effect do these folks have on our democracy? They, the easily swayed, both cheapen our democracy by making votes a commodity to be bought and sold, rather than earned, and simultaneously make it more expensive by forcing politicians to pander to those who write checks (obviously, in exchange for legislative favors).
If voters informed themselves, and did not allow themselves to be swayed by slick advertising, campaign money would be unneeded.
So, the voters, once again, have no one to blame but themselves.