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Big Money’s Corrupting Influence in Politics

Sam Jenkins
Written by Sam Jenkins

America must transform its politics so the government can better serve its citizens. The way to do it is to take big money out of politics through campaign finance reform. This issue sounds small, feckless and worthless, however, if implemented correctly, the removal of big money from politics can crumble the status quo of American politics.

Big money in politics negatively affects nearly every issue from gun rights to the economy. Citizens must look below the surface to witness the money and its corrupting influence. One of the clearest cut examples of this is with the environment. Data, research, and models show a 1st grader that climate change is real. However, the gross majority of Republicans in Congress are doubtful of climate change. Below the surface, citizens can find that the big oil industry contributed over 177 million dollars to 2016 federal campaigns[1] which directly influenced candidates’ position on the environment. Conversely, climate change will not be questioned and ultimately acted upon when big money is removed from politics.

Big money in politics also negatively affects who is elected. Yes, money doesn’t vote. However, money is a strong and stingy filter as it controls everything before the ballot box. A candidate needs big money’s permission to get on the ballot as well as big money’s permission to make themselves and their policies known. Many diverse candidates with excellent qualifications and a passion for creating meaningful change will be elected if the big money filter is removed.

Finally, big money in politics negatively affects citizen engagement. It is terrible that a random citizen’s phone call won’t mean anything to their a representative because a lobbyist is on the other line offering a couple thousand dollars in the next election. Situations like this and many more affect citizen’s psyche. On the other hand, if big money in politics is destroyed, more citizens’ will hunt for current events, engage in civic life and vote.

The removal of big money from politics can restore our democracy. It is an issue that can chart a course where politics is a platform for the government to better serve its citizens. Furthermore, it serves as a pathway where ideas are forged through public participation and a place to solve the most profound issues of the day. If we change our politics by reducing the impact of big money in politics, we will change America.

[1] https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/totals.php?cycle=2016&ind=E

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About the author

Sam Jenkins

Sam Jenkins

Student at the University of Florida