COLUMN: Presidential race should not be run by corporations
This is a big year for America, as it is an election year. More specifically, it’s the year that Republicans will duke it out to gain the chance to challenge President Barack Obama for his presidential seat.
Among the most popular, at least from the media’s point of view, are Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Ron Paul. Of those five, Romney has been the only one who hasn’t planned on or followed through with dropping out of the race. To most, it seems like he will be unrivaled up until the final vote in November.
But what exactly is causing his continued success? Well, like with any election campaign, and especially one for the presidency, it’s all about the money.
But where is all that money coming from?
Most of that money comes from corporate sponsors and lobbyists, who of course have other ideas besides “general goodwill” in mind when donating large sums to a presidential election. But I’ll leave all of that nonsense for your political science professor to explain.
My question is, how good of an idea is it to allow corporations to financially control the men who are soon to run our country? I mean, of course Obama has made some mistakes, but everyone does, and certainly people in power will be noticed for their mistakes most often. All the candidates running for office have their own pasts that some interest group in America won’t agree with, and it will cause a public outburst at some point. That much seems part of destiny. My biggest concern, however, is Romney’s huge success in gaining financial support for his nomination.
First, let me explain I have nothing against the man. I am a registered independent and have no sway toward either political side. My main concern is our government does what it was made to do: serve it’s purpose as a servant to the people. When we allow corporations to sway the people in charge of our government, it is no longer serving the people, it is serving the corporate agenda.
With that in mind, I also must express my concern that Romney himself is the poster child of corporate sponsorship.
Being a millionaire, Romney doesn’t have to worry about where the next paycheck is coming from. One of his biggest election claims is that he is just another “average Joe.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many millionaires, and none who call themselves average.
On top of that, Romney is far ahead of his Republican opponents in the presidential campaign, and as I said before, it is for good reason.
Romney has raised $97,963,836 with only 12 percent coming from individual donors (matched to Obama’s 44 percent from individual donors), according to OpenSecrets.org. Some of the biggest donors include important names in managing firms, banks, stock investors and accounting firms, all of which are under considerable financial stress in a downed economy. According to StateOfEnlightenment.com, Goldman Sachs alone has contributed nearly half a million dollars ($493,430), JP Morgan Chase and Co. close behind with $314,900 in donations and many other big corporations (Citigroup Inc, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citadel among the most highly recognized groups) have each contributed well over $100,000 to Romney’s cause.
In a downed economy, their intentions are clear, but Romney seems to be giving no attention to that fact, even ignoring such political issues in his campaign promises.
Is it really a good idea to let a corporate man turn the Oval Office into a corporate cesspool?
As a comparison, I’d like to point out another republican candidate’s, Ron Paul, donations. According to OpenSecrets.org, Ron Paul raised just over $13 million.
Paul’s top contributors? The U.S. Army ($78,056), the US Navy ($56,769) and the US Air Force ($55,405). Even the U.S. Postal Service and Department of Defense backed Paul, a man whose campaign beliefs were centered in constitutionalism and freedoms of rights.
This very aspect of the 2012 Presidential Campaign is what points out this year’s biggest problem: The campaign is being funded and supported by corporations, not by constitutional rights.
If Romney is allowed to continue on at this rate and is eventually allowed into office, he will surely spread money to corporate sponsors and self-interests and not to where it is needed most, like education and medical research. Romney already has proved his lack of responsibility with money (referring of course to the $10,000 bet he made with Rick Perry in the Des Moines Republican debate) and his general recklessness and disrespect for the common man.
I am not sure where my vote will go this November, but I most definitely will not be voting for a corporation.
Ty Johnson is a letters sophomore.