Don't Let Your Vote Be Bought

Published Aug 16, 2012. By Walter Haug. In The Marblehead Reporter.

I read the book “Elbridge Gerry” by Robert Goodwin (good reading about a Patriot Marbleheader). Gerry was member of the Constitution Convention in 1787-88, which wrote the U.S. Constitution. This book quotes Gerry, “The people are uninformed and would be misled by a few designing men.” Gerry was worried about the average citizen being able to grasp the complexity and depth of the issues facing our young country.

Fast forward to the campaign of 2012. The U.S. Supreme Court did a nasty thing when they opened the floodgates to unlimited spending on campaigns. The result is the proliferation of Super PACs being funded by a relatively small number of people but with some very rich donors.

Example: One man, Sheldon Adelson, owner of gambling casinos in Macau and Las Vegas, has vowed to spend up to $100 million to defeat one of the presidential candidates. That is a lot of media time, and the ads don’t have to be true or accurate. But, as in known in the advertising world, repeat a message often and loud enough, and lots of people will believe it. Please reread the quote above from Gerry.

So, for those interested in facts and truth, what to do? Try the following: FactCheck.orgPolitiFact.com, Fact Checker, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and the nonpartisan Concord Coalition. Republican, Democrat, independent or whatever – do your homework, inform yourselves, don’t just surrender your vote to the financial power of those who would “buy” your vote. There is another old adage: We get what we deserve. —Walter Haug, Highland Terrace