Seems like every time I check the news online or turn on the radio, I hear about the record-setting fund raising that is going on for the Presidential race in 2008. Which is like 20 months away still, or darn close to it. Dire predictions abound for those candidates who aren't pulling in the big dough.
I'm not buying it. Yes, I know that money can be exchanged for goods and services (where would I be without Homer Simpson to educate me?). Yes, I know that money will buy ad time and commercials for politicians to hammer the opposition. But since when has money ever voted? Isn't that still up to regular folks like you and me?
There's sort of a self-fulfilling trap that people can fall into here, and the real guilty party is the media. When headlines sensationalize the $25 million+ raised by both Hillary and Obama, the impression is created that it takes money - and really, that's the important thing - to become Chief Executive. People then begin to narrow the field in their own mind on who is and who isn't a viable candidate.
Here's the thing. A candidate who exhibits excellent character, strong support for the Constitution and can communicate with regular people (thus, being him- or herself a regular person) would make a darn-near unbeatable choice for office.
Then, there's this magical thing called the internet (put aside for a moment your natural objections about something invented by al-Gore. I have a strong hunch he didn't actually invent it. Yes, I know he says he did, but trust me on this one.). If the candidate and their ideals were both strong enough, a grass-roots base would spring up that would get the word out to potential voters. The internet can be a powerful, playing-field leveler to help the "little guys" fight big donor-sponsored candidates.
My point, I guess, is this: we're told an awful lot by the media who is and who isn't a viable candidate. Maybe we ought to consider the source.
Hat tip to Mom, for your comments on a prior post about the media. I was reflecting on your comment with respect to all the noise about fundraising when I picked up this train of thought.