At least once a day I’ll come across a comment from someone proclaiming that it doesn’t matter if we vote for Democrats or Republicans because “both parties are the same.” That’s a statement which only goes to show how little that person actually knows about politics. I’ll admit that claiming that “both parties are the same” makes for a fantastic sounding talking point for anyone who’s trying to make themselves feel superior to others politically, but it just doesn’t make any sense.
Sure, both parties are similar on some levels. Then again, so are humpback whales and poodles, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same animal or similar overall.
But while there are many issues where Democrats and Republicans are very different (women’s rights, abortions, gay rights, the minimum wage, social programs to help the poor, tax rates, immigration, voting rights), there’s one issue above all else that I feel really showcases the ethical differences between the two parties: Overturning Citizens United, passing campaign finance reform and getting money out of politics.
Most Republicans vehemently oppose overturning Citizens United, laughably proclaiming (as our Supreme Court did) that money somehow equals free speech. Our First Amendment gives us the right to say almost anything without the fear of prosecution, it has absolutely nothing to do with giving access to seemingly unlimited amounts of money to be poured into our political campaigns, effectively allowing the richest among us to buy our government.
But this is a situation that honestly baffles me because I meet just about as many conservatives who claim our government doesn’t represent “the people” as I do liberals. Both are claiming that our politicians are corrupt – a corruption that’s clearly linked to money in politics – so you would think that an issue such as getting money out of politics would be something on which both sides would agree.
Sadly, that’s not the case.
No matter what “side” of the political aisle you’re on, we should all be able to agree that money is easily the most corrupting factor in politics. If you don’t think that it is, you’re either naive or an idiot.
It goes back to a rule I always say people should follow: If you have a choice between two candidates – one who wants to get money out of politics and the other who’s trying to get more money in – you should always vote for the one trying to get money out.
And I already know what many Republicans will say to this, “But Democrats like Hillary Clinton are set to raise enormous sums of money!”
What are they supposed to do, not compete with Republicans during elections? One of the most consistent “rules” of politics is that the person who raises the most money stands the best chance at winning. So, as long as Republicans continue to fight against campaign finance reform, Democrats are going to have to continue “playing the game” of raising obscene amounts of money to keep up with their right-wing counterparts.
The bottom line is, most Democrats would love to see campaign finance reform passed. But we’ll never see that happen because Republicans continue to blatantly prove that they’re nothing more than a party auctioning itself off to the highest bidders.
When you get right down to it, it all boils down to:
- Democrats want to overturn Citizens United, pass campaign finance reform and try to get a lot of the money that’s infecting our government out of our political process.
- Republicans literally oppose doing all of that.
And that alone speaks volumes for the true values of each party.