Friday, June 30, 2017

Will Crowd-Funding Bring A Return To Democracy?

To win office, a candidate needs to campaign. Campaigns cost money - for advertising, for staffing, for people to man the phone banks and to hang reminders on doorknobs. To get enough money to run for office, a candidate has needed to solicit well-to-do donors, people who live on invested money. And to fulfill their legislative needs. Until now...

Now, a dozen or more internet sites let people raise money for their own causes.  A Facebook ad can be shown to 5000 people for a dollar. As funds are raised, mailing lists are bought and traded. If the cause is just - like fighting a case up through the courts, or running for office - then it can get funded if enough people support it. From a donor list, a candidate can build a mailing list, and from this he can recruit dedicated staffers and eager volunteers.

In last November's US elections, the voters who disliked Hillary Clinton acquired more electors than the voters who disliked Trump, so we didn't get Clinton for President. Bernie Sanders, whose more positive platform is built out of what people say that they want, what they like rather than dislike, was shoved into the background by the Democratic leadership, who needed the party platform to reflect what corporate donors had said they wanted.

Bernie's group is still around, still hanging out in the background, as the Republicans collapse in place. 

The Democratic Party asked Bernie for his mailing list the other day. His "Revolution Now" group responded that while the list worked to bring lots of money into the Bernie camp, it wouldn't do the same for the Dem Party. People who gave to Bernie wouldn't be very likely to give to the corporate puppets. 

Here and now the split begins. The split between corp-funded politics and crowd-funded politics. Corp-funded politics has turned both parties into echo-chambers. Crowd-funded politics may rescue them both.

The Democratic Party will need to adopt Bernie's platform if it wants to do crowd-funding.


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