LR phrases the issue quite nimbly, sincerely, and to the point:
Votes can't be bought or sold, but they can be INFLUENCED. You keep skirting around this simple truth.
When one entity, a corporation or union or somesuch, can pour as much money as they want into advertising for a candidate, their voice is amplified 10,000x to voters across the country. It's a direct correlation. This influences peoples opinions. You are essentially calling the "riggers" idiots, because you claim this tactic doesn't work, that it doesn't affect the outcomes of elections. So people like the Kochs, who have amassed $50 billion between them are flushing $889 million down the toilet this election cycle for no reason at all? They're just delusional old men? Think about the implications you're making.
My argument from the beginning is that CU, which allows unlimited donations from corporations and unions is bad for the democratic process and thus the country as a whole.
Let's do a sample exercise. Say a TV ad that will get seen by 5 million people in Florida costs $100. Say the average donator can afford to give $1. It takes 100 people to make one ad in support of one candidate. Now along comes Soros. He drops off a check for $10,000. His ONE voice can produce 100 ads. The message Soros or Charles Koch or David Geffen advocates for isn't the point I'm driving at. The point I'm driving at is that those individuals have, by law, 10,000 times the ability to influence people by supporting one candidate or the other because they have the most money.
Whether Hillary (wait, forgot, Super PAC's aren't controlled by the candidates wink wink) takes that $8 mil and makes an attack ad, makes an ad about feminism and her mother, makes an ad about teachers unions, makes an ad about marriage equality, that isn't the point.
Dr. D thinks that he knows why Rick and LR are talking past each other. Dr. D's brother (an Ivy League prof) talked past him for years until we both realized what the problem was. PERHAPS it relates here.
Q1: Is "influence" is a bad thing? Note that --- > Donald Trump has a microphone. You and I don't. My brother would have regarded this situation as outrageous by its very nature. I'm guessing that Rick (1) does not see this situation as outrageous and (2) it would have never occurred to Rick that the situation was outrageous. So, I'm guessing this is why they keep mystifying each other. (They can correct Dr. D where he's wrong!)
It could be that triangulating the issue down to THIS one has the potential to resolve the whole discussion. Is it a bad thing that Pepsi and Ford and Trump and Soros can talk to America, more loudly than Suzy Mainstreet can talk to it?
Q2: Is the average person in the street --- > capable of coming to a rational decision about her own vote, even after she has "been exposed to" the voices of only eight politicians?
In my 53 years, I've come to see this as one of the main differences between right and left. I've got a lot of confidence in Suzy Mainstreet. This goes to the day the Founding Fathers framed the Constitution.
Sure, Suzy is influenced by the loudest microphones. But she isn't controlled by them, and that's good enough for me. Now, as you move from using private concerns to influence her --- > into using legislation on her, then the State does begin controlling her.
Q2a. May I ask the (very) sincere Democrats here something? Are you concerned that new immigrants will be unduly "influenced" after they are "exposed to" free government benefits?
I mean the question literally. Does that seem like a healthy thing to you, that millions of new voters come in and vote for the side that pushes entitlements? Or do you see that as resulting in society's well-being? If so, why is this type of centralized "influence" a healthy one?
Q3. If Trump and Soros and Pfizer and Microsoft and Goldman Sachs should not have the lead in "influencing" politics, who should?
Who influences the microphones in Cuba, or Denmark, or China? The totalitarian state determines this. You're going to have SOME way of winnowing the microphones down to a dozen or so. What is the best way to do this - Saudi Arabia's way or the U.S.A.'s way?
Q4. Is YOUR life being "run" by billionaires?
Personally, I'm using an iPhone 5s. Apple "influenced" me to buy it. Nevertheless I don't feel a slave to Apple, even 1% a slave, on any level. When Ford, or Apple, or Nintendo, become powerful industrial concerns, a whole whale of a lot of market efficiencies result that benefit me. As an American, I'm sitting here smartphone in one hand, latte in the other, watching the internet and Facebook and the free vote --- > place more influence onto the politicians than they place onto me.
I don't feel AT ALL that billionaires are running MY life. Tell me where I'm going wrong. :- )
My brother used to say that a poor person didn't have the "freedom" to travel to DisneyWorld, and so rich people shouldn't have that "freedom" either. It took me two years to realize that he was using "capability" in the first sense, and "authority" in the other sense. He meant that if any one person lacked the capacity to (say) go on a cruise vacation, then every other person should have his authority to do so taken away by the State. That way everything would be "fair!"
On the right, voters simply don't believe that it is "unfair" for two different Americans to be situated in different life circumstances. Originally the country was about the American Dream -- the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Not a Department of Happiness. This paradigm views government as a non-parental entity, put in place to stop crime and build roads.
If a 1400 A.D. Michael Jackson invented a little slingshot, and traded 50 of them for currency sticks, he'd be the richest man in the village - and everybody in the village would have slingshots. NOW the question for my brother was: what if villager #51 wanted a slingshot also? Should Michael Jackson 1400 AD be allowed to have 51 sticks in his bank account?
I think most people on the right say, transaction #51 is good for the village, all things considered. Most people on the left seem to say, You've got to stop Jackson from getting those 51 sticks, at any cost.
At least, those were the terms on which we two argued it :- ) In my particular family, this argument seemed to resolve down to a general resentment that Jackson had 51 sticks and I only had two. From there, I could build 9,000 theoretical arguments as to the damage Jackson could do with his 51 sticks, the control he would have of the village, his undue influence, etc. In reality, he just sold us slingshots (or hit records!) every one of which was a benefit to peoples' lives. And he never did do much with his pile of sticks.
Certainly there is a point at which the Robber Barons are abusing the system. I can think of two ways in which *I* worry about it: Big Pharma, and the monolithic NYT/MSNBC microphone that was supposed to be a free press. The "intellectual heights" of our society -- colleges, Hollywood, the media -- all have huge microphones and they all push left. Despite this, Republicans have held the White House for 24 of the last 36 years. The media influences us, but still does not control us.
I would certainly favor checks-and-balances on those two sectors.
Obviously we're getting close to SOME kind of tipping point. Donald Trump looks odds-on to push through the Republican apparatus and take that nomination. Bernie Sanders seems obviously the choice of the Democratic voter, although he may be stopped by the apparatus for reasons totally opaque to Dr. D.
TONE, amigos. Let's be excruciatingly friendly and polite on this one.
'ave at me,