Freedom isn’t free. This saying is primarily attached to military service. However there is much more to it. Civil Citizen’s must pay for Democracy with time, attention and yes, sometimes money. In order to take away the power of special interest lobbyists the people as a whole must contribute at least as much as the special interests do.
Your money. Your hard earned money. How readily people will part with it for food that is not good for them, for frivolities that do not matter, lay it down for yet another lottery ticket that lost or for a plastic toy that will break in less than a week. Americans and others in developed Democracies complain about the corruption of lobbyists stealing democracy away. Yet how much has any of them spent on a political campaign, ever?
“Hey that’s a lot of money!” you say. We could never keep up with the corporations and special interest groups. Yes it is true that special interests plop down billions of dollars for some campaigns. However there are many more regular folks then there are special interest lobbies. If every voter gave $10.00 it would bring the power back to the people. The Census Bureau states that 131 million people voted in November of 2008. If they all gave $10.00 once that would be $1,310,000,000 of monetary influence being put into the campaign cycle. If they donated $10 a month or $120 a year that would be $15,720,000,000.00 of influence. Granted that would be split up into the various interests of those voters. Still that is a lot of popular monetary influence and that is only with 58% of the population voting.
Besides the great distaste for giving money to anything that doesn’t instantly give back in a pleasurably gratifying reward is hard enough. It is harder still for those who do not trust the political parties. That is a valid point. The public must trust those instutions they fund. The only way to have that trust is to be involved and informed. Active participation is the only genuine way to have a political party that can be trusted is for you and those like you to get involved in it. Usually that means one to two hours a month except for election years when there is usually more to do. You may have to miss some television but have you seen what’s on TV lately? Is it really that much of a loss for the sake of living in a free nation?
If the nation is to be free we must put our money, time and attention where our mouth is and be glad no blood need be spilled. Donate to a candidate you think is worthy or a cause you are passionate about today!