In the last election cycle, 132 Americans accounted for sixty percent of all the Super Political Action Committees’ (PACs) money (2). With statistics like this, it is no wonder the average American does not feel as though his or her vote is meaningful. In the scheme of the corruption of political money, it truly isn’t. In the current American way of government elections, the average citizen does not choose the candidate; he or she merely has the opportunity to decipher which best fits his or her beliefs, out of the ones suggested by the large election donors. This is why many Americans feel they are choosing the lesser of two evils when electing a candidate, because this is what a citizen’s vote currently decides.
This is not to say that all elected officials are evil, it just confirms that citizens are not getting the voice they are assured in the Constitution. Year after year incumbents are reelected, but the approval rating of congress is lower than root canals and head lice (20). In the 2002 congressional elections, 94% of the candidates who raised the most money won their races (4). When these statistics are viewed to together, they do not make sense. Why would unpopular incumbents retain their seat in office? The only explanation is funding, and the trend has always been that the candidate with the most funds wins; most notably with incumbents in congress.
Candidates are not all to blame for this happening, a great deal of the problem can be attributed to the way the system has been established. Instead of candidates focusing on key interests, they focus on what will allow them to earn the most money. As Leslie Byrne, former representative from Virginia, was told when coming into Congress by a fellow member, "...
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...ly wrong, and many do want to stop the corruption of government. Article 5 of the constitution should be put into action, because a constitutional convention called by states would bring about this necessary change. Citizens unanimously are in disagreement with the Citizens United v. FEC, as well as a large amount of government representatives. President Obama denounced the decision of Citizens United v. FEC himself, saying it is “A major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks . . . and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.” He denounced the decision as a “Ruling [that] strikes at our democracy itself” (15). The President is absolutely right in this statement, but the Election Reform Amendment has the potential to stop these powerful interests and give power back to the citizens.
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