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    Posted April 6, 2014 by
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    The SCOTUS, Influence and a Reality Check


    Many are up in arms about the recent Supreme Court ruling that takes away the cap on the total aggregate limit a person can give .

    Those who oppose the decision say that this will allow the rich to wield too much influence in our elections. Their influence will cause all of us to vote their way instead of the way we might vote otherwise. While that may be true for some, I find it hard to believe that it will change the hearts and minds of people as much as they think.


    I think all these people that are complaining are turning a blind eye to all the “unpaid” influences that exist within our society that are never calculated into campaign finance. The first thing that comes to mind is the influence wielded by our media and softer news outlets. Which is more influential, a campaign attack ad or our favorite news person pointing out a flaw in one of the candidates?


    Many people scream, shout and complain about the influence of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh; even our dear president has made multiple negative comments about Fox News and Rush. While those are two strong voices for the right, there are as many if not more voices sitting on the more liberal side of the fence shaping the conversation to meet their political objectives. Just look at the presidential debates in the last election, Candy Crowley interjected herself into the debate by contradicting one man’s statement. If she is willing to do this with the whole world watching, what other things is she and others like her interjecting into the daily conversation when we are not watching that closely?


    I wish that news people were honest in their reporting. I wish that they didn't use their influence to shape the conversation about politics but they do. Should their influence be monetized and more fairly distributed among the candidates?


    Then we have the soft news, the right has talk radio while the left has Jon Steward and the ladies on The View. Again, I ask who are you more likely to listen to, be influenced by: Jon Stewart, Glen Beck or a political attack flyer that you receive in the mail. Should we monetize their influence and more fairly distribute it among political parties? Should politicians be charged money to appear on talk shows? Isn’t their appearance basically free advertising?


    Next we have Hollywood. How many times have you sat down to watch your favorite show or gone to a movie to see a story about an event that closely parallels real life and all the political issues that go along with it? Does it ever sometimes seem that the show or the movie is preaching a certain political agenda? Should television shows and movies be restricted to non-political content? If the movie leans one way or another should the respective political party be charged for the advertising?


    What about the Hollywood stars that spout opinions about candidates. Their comments attract a larger audience than my neighbor next door talking politics with the people in the neighborhood. Is that fair? Should their comments not be publicized on the national news and other entertainment outlets so that things could be fair or should the candidate be charged for their comments?


    Am I irritated that I don’t have enough money to have more political influence over a greater number of people? Sure, but to be honest I am not sure that if I spent more time or money I could change an opinion. I simply do not have enough celebrity to be influential. I honestly think that the president has remained as popular as he has over the years despite the bad economy because he has seen the advantage and value of celebrity.


    Let's not forget the influence of unions (not the donations but the newsletters they send to their members) or professional organizations (not donations but newsletters they send out) etc. etc. etc.

    I hope this little post acts as a reality check about how we are influenced politically; money is just part of the game.

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