Why Does Your Vote Cost $2.5 Billion?

Written by on November 5, 2012 in rePURPOSE - No comments

Pedro ran a good campaign. He had very simple, but clear positioning. If you recall, the reasons people were going to vote for Pedro included his “sweet bike” and the fact that he was the only guy at school with a mustache. And of course, he had some last minute luck, thanks to a brilliant piece of improv by Napoleon Dynamite during the “final debate.” The total cost for Pedro’s successful presidential race, which included flyers and a piñata shaped like his opponent, couldn’t have exceeded $100. An amazing bargain compared to other presidential races I’ve been watching lately.

On the eve of the 2012 Presidential Election, I’m going to take a moment to be potentially unpatriotic.  Over the past two elections, we’ve seen both parties massively spend on campaigning. Historically so. The price tag for Romney vs. Obama is going to end up somewhere near $2.5 billion according to some estimates.  Even if those estimates are off by, oh let’s just say, $1 billion, that’s still a lot of money. Way too much, in my opinion.

Let me be clear. The decision we make as a country tomorrow couldn’t be more important. And every citizen needs to have an informed and educated view of both candidates. But does it really cost more than $2 billion to make that happen?

Just stop for a moment and think about how “we the people” could spend $2.5 billion. Maybe pay off a little debt? Maybe create some jobs? Maybe solve a big global problem? Nonprofits out there, what would your organization accomplish if you had an extra $2.5 billion just sitting in the bank?

I fully understand we’re not voting for Pedro here. But I am very disappointed that our election process has spiraled into the mass marketing spectacle that it is today. I’m not holding any specific political party solely accountable for this. Or any special interest group. And I’m not trying to squash anyone’s right to financially support and lobby for the candidate of his or her choice. But the last I checked, our nation could really use the extra cash. We have plenty of major issues and worthy causes waiting for help.

Additionally, all the overspending on ads, name calling and such only muddies the waters. It would be far better if we scaled back on spending, focused squarely on the issues and let America make a truly educated choice, instead of wooing and persuading voters as if we were trying to help them decide what brand of soft drink to prefer.

And then maybe take about $2 billion or so and put it to a much better use. Duh!



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