The money-driven US politics

There’s a post up at the Esquire, called Brunch with the populists, describing the way money influences US politics:

In Washington, on a weekend like this one, money doesn’t seem like power any more than moonlight does. The presence of money is all around. It is in the politics that brought everyone here, and it is in the politics that keep everyone here, and it is in the politics that are practiced by everyone here, and it is in the politics that will be celebrated on Monday. It is what the lavish parties are all about. It is the song that people dance to at all the fancy balls. And, on Tuesday, when everybody staggers toward the airport, it will be there in the government those politics produce. Money doesn’t seem like power, just omnipresent influence, the way the moon looks weak and pale above the sea while it’s always still driving the tides.

This applies to everyone, since one can’t get anywhere in US politics without raising the requisite money:

In Washington, money is a great maze that, at the moment at least, since a series of Supreme Court decisions essentially has privatized political corruption, nobody can escape. The reformers have to get elected, and then, once elected, they have to raise enough money to spend to get themselves re-elected. The populists determined to work within the system to break the influence of money have to raise money to stay within the system to do their work. And breaking the influence of money is the key to doing almost everything else, including reordering the national economy so that wages are no longer stagnating and income no longer so baroquely unequal. Breaking the influence of money in our politics ā€” and within the government those politics produce ā€” is what a populist must do in the 21st Century. But first, of course, the populist has to get elected. And re-elected.

Read more: Brunch With The Populists – Esquire

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