Friday, May 18, 2012

Nothing is More Powerful than a Made-Up Mind

Another eccentric billionaire is in the news -- this Ricketts guy wants to buy the election for Romney by funding an ad campaign recycling every racist suspicion of Obama.  There must a whole cottage industry of political consultants writing proposals for ad campaigns to be funded by eccentric right wing billionaires.  If they stroke the right zones on the right old guy, the consultant is in the money.  Kind of like building mansions on spec. 

Big money in politics buys television ads.  Television ads are not very effective in Presidential races.  Or, to be more precise, television ads are really only useful defensively in races where most voters already have opinions.  Supporters lose confidence if they do not see their candidate's ads.  Very few people are actually persuaded one way or another by an ad campaign.  Once voters makes up their mind about who they plan to vote for, not much can change. Nothing is more powerful than a made-up mind.

It's important to remember this after the Citizen's United decision.  Billionaires come and go and the money washes around the system, but I know that my vote cannot be bought.  Most people's votes cannot be bought.  And as the issues and interests become more clear, more votes are unbuyable. 

As religious liberals, our message to our fellow citizens is: get a hold of yourself.  Sort out your interests and principles and values, and figure how to advance them through your votes.  That is your empowerment. 

1 comment:

Red Sphynx said...

Re: your aside about Citizens United. Tom, you've got it wrong. CU was about corporate speech. Before CU, the really big political advocacy money came from very rich individuals. After CU, the really big political advocacy money comes from ... very rich individuals. Like Ricketts. He could give his money before, and he did, and he can give it after CU, and he does.

CU didn't change things nearly as much as you think it did.