You know, of course, that votes have been bought since time immemorial. So why would you think there is something especially odd about that these days? What’s new to the game is that the way votes are purchased has changes since 1927 or so.
In the good old days a vote could be bought with a drink or a sandwich paid directly to the voter. But these days the actual voters are left out, politicians buy votes in quantity from a third party. The voters don’t even know they are commodity. It’s bad enough that they don’t get a cent out of the transaction, but it’s worse than that as voters actually lose money—or the services that money buys—because of these wholesale deals.
Politicians are woefully ignorant of what voters care about because they spend almost all of their time servicing their real constituency—the donor class. So every couple of years, when pols have to seem to be concerned about what ordinary people in their districts think (fear and desire) and do (vote) count, they need to hire Big Marketing to inform them. They also need to rent time and space from Big Media to exploit that information. Neither comes cheap.
Damn near a billion—or is it a trillion?—USD is being spent on the US presidential election alone. And while it seems like the pols are simple throwing it away, some would trickle wn if it were, yes? No, it is actually just being moved somewhere else; Expenses one place are always income somewhere else.
Behind closed doors, the politicians meet with their donors and trade influence for cash. The donors get the tax breaks, laws and [lack of] regulations they want and the pols get the money needed to pay Big Marketing/Media for delivering the commodified votes. Odd that paying a voter for his or her vote is illegal, but paying a third party for a block of votes is not.
This all just business as usual. All the players even the pols, are like corporations. They all have brands stakeholders and limited liabilities, and they lack empathy, yes? And big media/marketing are corporate donors as well as enablers. Plus pols, when they are not doing time as public servants, are the donor class, enablers or both. All they do, whether in the political season or not is are move wealth around from one of their pockets to the next and as wealth in the good old USA equals power that too is shifted around. Everybody’s hand is in everybody else’s pocket, and that is not a pretty picture so I’ll leave you with the front end loader image instead.
- Note: Corporations are almost persons, but not quite. They are like immortal chimpanzees with lawyers. (Note to self: draw this.) They can commit suicide and revivify themselves with a click of a pen. They have all the rights of homo sapiens, but can legal their way out of the responsibilities. And, while they are cute when young, will tear nearby humans limb from limb as soon as they realize they can.