According to Bernie Sanders the “billionaire class” is destroying American politics with their heaps, mounds, and mountains of money. “I do not exaggerate when I tell you that the foundations of American democracy are being undermined,” Sanders said. “American democracy is not supposed to be about billionaires buying elections.”
Let’s think about that for a moment. Is Bernie right or is he just spouting the standard socialist nonsense that the rich control everything including your vote?
[Source: The Bogeymen of the ‘Billionaire Class,’ by Jonah Goldberg]
Which Republican candidate has the most super PAC money? Answer: Jeb Bush. Bush is in the low single digits in most national polls, despite his campaign and his super PAC raising more than $100 million.
Well, certainly Donald Trump has his own “billions.” He doesn’t need “billionaire class” donors. But wait! Trump has spent less than any other major candidate.
Hillary certainly is tapped into Wall Street. But, as the first votes are getting ready to be cast, she is losing ground to Bernie. She benefits from no fewer than five super PACs. But during her campaign rants she demeans the Citizens United case – the Supreme Court decision that made super PACs possible. She believes that decision is a monumental threat to democracy and that the First Amendment should be rewritten to get rid of them.
Let’s look at Bernie himself. He has raised more money from small donors than any other candidate in American history.
Bernie should read Open Secrets list of the top 100 individuals donating to outside spending groups in the current election. There were 22 individuals on the Open Secrets list who were billionaires. Of those 22 billionaires, 13 — or more than half — gave predominantly to liberal groups or groups affiliated with the Democratic Party. The other nine gave predominantly to conservative groups. Perhaps Bernie should scream at George Soros, Tom Steyer, and Michael Bloomberg instead of the Koch brothers.
In the final analysis there is little evidence supporting the contention that billionaires are in charge of my vote or your vote. If anything, Citizens United is helping the Democrat Party more so than the Republican Party. So I keep looking for the “billionaire class” that is going to “make me vote” for someone I would otherwise not choose. I’m having trouble finding them.