BY: David Dallas
There is a cancer in the American political system. Former U.S. Sen. John Stennis called it the politics of Big Money. When I knew Stennis in his retirement, he would often lament how big money has taken the vote away from the common man, your ordinary everyday American. Big money politics lends itself to misinformation, dishonesty and ultimately leads to apathy.
While our ugly GOP Senate primary turned out a very sizable number of Mississippi voters, the general election will likely not come anywhere close. The low turnout will not just be the result of Tea Partiers staying home or the inability of Travis Childers to inspire whatever may be left of the Democratic Party in Mississippi. Those will be factors certainly, but the cold hard fact is Americans have been apathetic for quite some time.
Only 52 percent of eligible voters actually cast a ballot in the last presidential election. As the electorate in a representative democracy, we’ve effectively been turned off and shut out by Big Money Politics. Most of us don’t believe our vote makes any difference against the public relations stunts and high-priced campaign propaganda. We’ve been bombarded with ads and media telling us to distrust all politicians, even the very ones we repeatedly re-elect.
Big money has been instrumental in keeping viable third-party candidates from mounting any real challenges to the ruling apparatchik and has forced our leading political parties to behave more similarly than ever in an effort to keep the money flowing.