The Blue Banner’s View: #ElectionDay2014 serves as prediction for political spending in 2016

By Grace Raper – graper@unca.edu – Editor-in-Chief | Nov. 12, 2014 |

Election Day resulted in a bruised and battered Democratic Party when the dust cleared and votes tallied, but the Nov. 5 election should serve as a canary in a democratic coal mine for the 2016 presidential elections.

Obama, who continues to put on the facade of making progress despite the opposition in Congress, now faces the very real possibility of becoming a lame duck president.

Many posted to Facebook they voted against Obama, which by extension meant voting for the Republican candidates in most cases.

It seems that voting against the entire Democratic Party simply to give Obama the proverbial middle finger equates to setting yourself on fire to keep warm on a cold night.

Yet the true winner on election night did not come down to Republicans or Democrats, but instead came in the form of big money spending.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled money as speech and with that decision, opened the floodgates for spending to dominate the political arena.

The name Koch is now prevalent in most discussions of the election result and leads to the pressing question: Can the wealthiest minority buy their government? If these election results say anything, it’s a resounding yes.

Many political commentators later pointed out the fact of Democratic Party spending being on par with the Republicans, but the total amount isn’t necessarily the most important factor.

As The Washington Post put it, “What about the fact that, without the Koch brothers, the GOP would probably have been badly outspent? Just because the GOP didn’t have much more money doesn’t mean money didn’t matter. If nothing else, the Kochs were responsible for a parity, without which Republicans might not have gained as many seats.”

The scariest part of this entire ordeal comes with looking ahead into 2016 and the options for presidential candidates.

The time for vague comments neither confirming nor denying candidacy has passed. Now comes the time for those individuals to step into the light and reveal themselves and their interests.

Of course, two big names are Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush in recent days.

Clinton faced a rough blow when Barack Obama scored the Democratic Party’s nomination instead of her in the 2008 elections, and Bush has the family name to both boost and hinder his prospects in the next elections.

The 2014 election season came with an enormous price tag attached — costing nearly $3.87 billion.

So, moving forward to the 2016 presidential race, it seems the only chance of becoming president goes to the highest bidder.

Americans should exercise caution when deciding whether to vote for or against an entire party or they’ll find themselves living in a gridlock of such wealthy and out-of-touch politicians that being represented by their elected officials will be a thing of the past.

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