Donald Trump v. Special Interests: A Wake Up Call for Democrats

Donald Trump v. Special Interests: A Wake Up Call for Democrats

Rachel CohenTuesday,10 May 2016

This campaign isn’t being decided by you, it isn’t being decided by me, and it isn’t being decided by all the other American citizens who will (hopefully) cast a vote in November.

Instead, it seems to be in the hands of the media, and more importantly, the people and groups who don’t care about the lives of the American people (but you can bet they care about themselves!).

Early on in this seemingly-unending election circus we saw how the Super PAC system – perhaps the biggest detriment to our political process – didn’t work out quite as well this time around. Favored candidates like JEB! lost out big despite hugely-funded backers, and everyone’s least favorite melted orange creamsicle come to life, as Donald Trump rose to grasp the nomination despite nominal PAC support.

Seriously, my emotions are so conflicted this year I am hoping that we can get a bill in Congress to just pump Xanax into the water supply and call it a day. A girl can dream, right?

The Washington Post had an excellent investigation into the campaign spending to date — and surprise, surprise — it reinforces what we already know: too much money is being spent, and the PAC system is far more influential than you or I.

Let’s put it this way; so far, OVER A BILLION DOLLARS HAS BEEN SPENT ON THIS CHARADE. I don’t know about you, but give me a chance to allocate some of that money elsewhere and GUESS WHAT, we can maybe reduce some of the budgetary strain that seems to be such an issue for so many of these candidates.

But, when it comes down to comparing the campaign funds raised by each candidate to the independent groups like PACs, frankly, it’s even more disgusting. Want to see why Trump got the nomination, and why the Democrats better step up their game plan for handling him? Check it:

CAMPAIGN vs. SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS (call it like it is, right?)

Jeb! Bush: $158.9 million raised, 78% from outside support.

John Kasich: $43.1 million raised, 62% from outside support.

Marco Rubio: $127.1 million raised, 61% from outside support.

Ted Cruz: $146.5 million raised, 46% from outside support.

Hillary Clinton: $263.9 million raised, 28% from outside support.

Bernie Sanders: $188.6 million raised, 2% from outside support.

Donald Trump: $48.8 million raised, basically less than 1% from outside support.

Okay guys, let’s get this straight. DONALD TRUMP IS THE WORST, and he is his own special interest group. We know this. BUT he still managed to lock down the nomination bringing in far less in campaign funds than the others, but more importantly, far less in external funding. Put it this way: Scott Walker, who apparently was running for president at some point, brought in $31.4 million in outside support alone. His entire failed campaign(?) cost almost as much as Trump’s and was exclusively supported by special interest groups.

While everyone else on Trump’s “side of the aisle” was predominantly bolstered by special interest support, he was able to back up his message of being different and an “outsider” with actual numbers. In this weird twist, even Bernie’s nominal 2% was more than Trump took.

This is not a good look for a year when people are looking for something different in a politician.

We’re facing an entirely new monster in politics – but it was also one that we let happen. Citizens United was the final nail in the coffin when it came to uniting American citizens, and rather than stand up and fight against the will of the corporations, we settled into our complacency. Maybe this time we’ll actually wake up.

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Image Credit: Gage Skidmore on Flickr



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