My response to a journalist’s question:
Question: Pew Research shows that a majority of Americans believe outside influence, including money from interest groups and campaign donations, is corrupting the political system and our elected officials…
Considering the historically high levels of angst among Americans, what solutions can you offer to ameliorate their concerns that money has corrupted politics and elections? And what specifically can you do as a candidate or elected official to address this concern?
It is true, money has corrupted electoral politics. This is one of the problems my campaign exists to address. In fact, the sentiments recorded in that Pew report reflect many of the reasons I began this project to “change the way politics is done”, back in 2009.
The average American is every bit as qualified to govern as those we elect. Our nation’s founders apparently believed this when they constituted the requirements for holding federal office at nothing more than age and citizenship, and I am here to inspire them to do so.
In fact, the solution to the problem of money and corruption in politics already exists. When the founders enumerated the powers granted to the federal government – a government the states were creating, not to act as an authority over them, but simply to provide the security to protect the states from outside threats, and the infrastructure to facilitate their future prosperity – they defined them in such limited fashion as to ensure against federal interference into the lives of the people and their businesses, and, for that matter, into the governance of the states. The Bill of Rights, while not meant to be an all-inclusive list of limitations on government, was ABSOLUTELY intended to limit federal government.
All of that, to say this:
If federal government is bound by the Constitution – the Constitution as written, not as interpreted, special interests, and their lobbyists, have little to gain by contributing to the campaigns of politicians at the federal level. There is no way, human nature being what it is, to create a law that will solve any problem indefinitely, and I would argue that asking corrupt politicians to solve the problem of corruption in politics is somewhat silly. The Constitution gives the power for addressing the problems with government to the people, but we have to be willing to exercise it. We have to be willing to get up and play a role in the process of self-governance, beyond just casting a vote.
I said, in the beginning, this is one of the problems my campaign exists to address, so let me campaign for a minute:
I don’t think it has to cost millions for a candidate to win an election. If I say things worth repeating, others will repeat them – for free. If I am persistent, in time, I will win an election. I run as an independent candidate because, as the Pew survey suggests, Republicans and Democrats agree on a lot of things, with regard to the problems with government. The issues they disagree on are those best addressed by state or local governments, where we have more influence, not to mention the power to “vote with our feet”, by moving from state to state, or city to city, applying the same free-market principles to government as we do to groceries and fast-food restaurants. We don’t make laws – at lease, not yet – that demand every fast-food establishment serve a great tasting burger. We go where we get the best burger and the stores compete to serve it. There is no reason why this can’t apply to state and local governments as well.
My campaign is built around small donations – 20 or 50 dollars – and the participation of my supporters – tell two friends. I’m and average American truck driver, who believes in limited government, and accepts my personal responsibility for limiting it. If you believe I’m the right person for the job, help me win this November.
So, there is my answer to the question, “Considering the historically high levels of angst among Americans, what solutions can you offer to ameliorate their concerns that money has corrupted politics and elections? And what specifically can you do as a candidate or elected official to address this concern?”
I guess I can say, to your audience, I’m doing that, and you can help.
Ohio’s US Senate seat, 2016