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Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 414: How much does it Cost to be President?

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/

Ok, so I know that this data is for the 2012 US election - yes, it is outdated BUT still relevant.

So, Obama spent $1.1 billion in his campaign, and Romney spent $1.2 billion. Wow. That is a buttload of money. If I had that much money I could feed myself, my family and probably an entire village for a lifetime. And build comfortable houses for everyone. And some other cool stuff, like pools.

$2.2 billion is a lot of money. That much money, in this world we've designed, could have a huge impact on a lot of peoples' lives. How is it that over $2 billion is spent by just 2 candidates in the race to be president - and for what? What have either of them accomplished? Have either of them made a real difference? Do either of them even know how to make a difference?

I have been watching Newsroom, which highlights how little news reporters actually investigate the stories they report, especially political stories. The show depicts how politics has become just another fancy show of big words, big lights and big music, but no real plans. The reporting that does get done is mind-numbing - it brings focus to things like this or that candidate's favourite colour or shoes - how is information like that relevant to the person's ability to lead fairly and with the best interests of the people in mind?

Oh, sure, my favourite colour is blue and my opponent is a racist. Also I love God. Also I am funded by one of the big oil companies (what, did you think that donations from the patriotic citizens of America came up to anywhere near $1.1 billion?). Also dogs are cute. Also I am pro/anti abortion. Also blah blah blah.

What is the point of having a president if he/she is not capable of actually leading the country into a better place for all? Why put so much time and energy into something so completely pointless? You think those presidents who got into office because big, fat donations from a number of select corporations will have your best interests at heart? Pffft. They are going to be thinking of the interests of those corporations, first and foremost - every time. Sure, they may talk a good game about how CEO's get way too much money, but until they present a well-researched, unbiased solution that would benefit everyone, then their words are worth nothing.

I find it interesting that we are so easily swayed by speeches and big, but essentially empty and meaningless, proposals. The key to our hearts and minds is a good speech, coupled with some clever pictures. Simple as that. No need for those pesky things called "plans", or "solutions" or "details" - as long as we promise to do a whole bunch of stuff, no one will really ask questions. It's a vicious cycle: Reporters don't want to lose their jobs, so they report what they are told to, perpetuating the cycle of ignorance and big, fake fluff in our society.

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