Essay about Big Money : A Summary

Essay about Big Money : A Summary

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Big Money: A Summary

Kenneth Vogel’s Big Money explores the invasion of money into our political system. In the novel, Vogel explains one of the most important important events that is currently happening in today’s elections: donors. This, according to Vogel, has been brought on by a ruling in the case Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission. The result of this case destroyed finance restrictions, giving Corporations and Unions the same laws of freedom of speech as individual Americans. The novel opens in February of 2012 where Vogel sneaks into a donor banquet. As our current president, Barack Obama, gives his speech, Vogel makes a note of the President’s words. In particular, Vogel focuses on one line “You now have the potential of 200 people deciding who ends up being elected president every single time” ( Big Money. 10). Vogel also discusses Mitt Romney’s fundraising operation, the mobilization of Obama’s 2012 campaign by Jim Messina, and much more. He offers a lot of detail on these and other subjects such as right wing politics, especially under Karl Rove, and the Koch brothers. Vogel also reports the sum of money given to the Obama and Romney campaigns in 2012, by small and large donors. Though one would go into reading this novel with a biased view, Vogel keeps a level hand and does not participate in “choosing sides.” Rather, he blasts both sides of the argument. On one hand he uncovers the shady dealings, and politics of the Koch brothers, which he calls the Kochtopus. On the other hand, he shines light on the democratic hypocrisy of Obama’s changed viewpoint from a position of opposition, to a position of acceptance, in the discussion of large donors. Along with Obama, Vogel mentions Nancy Pelosi and Ha...


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...ed versus the Federal Election Commission had a large impact on whether or not corporations and unions were able to be donors to political campaigns. The verdict, which allows corporations and unions to be donors in the same way individuals are, opened up new doors in the world of politics. People now have to argue why Super PACs are destroying politics by having the ability to raise as much money as they want, and use it to slander other candidates. It also opens the door to questions about the type of government America truly lives under. It asks the question “Is our government a democracy, plutocracy, oligarchy, all three, or none?” I personally believe it is a mix between a plutocracy and an oligarchy, but this can be debated. With all of this information, I leave you with this question, “What, if anything, do you believe to be ruining America’s political system?”

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