Campaign Reform

Sadly, most of the items that pop up in my newsfeed are now from my liberal friends.  I have to go hunting for the conservative ones.  I think that Penn Jillette speaks wisdom when he says that he likes to hear what people who disagree with him say.  I've seen several of my friends become so radical (far left or far right) that their words seem completely disconnected from reality.  I don't want that to happen to me.

At any rate, one of the main things I'm seeing my liberal friends post today is criticism of rich people funding republican races that failed.  In fact, here's a picture of it.  I agree with the sentiment that this is extremely wasteful and (at least in this case) ultimately futile.  I agree with the arguments that have been posed that this money would be better spent creating actual jobs for the American people--jobs where we actually produce something--rather than funding childish TV ads and giving away free buttons to supporters.

However, I can't help but notice the hypocrisy in posts of this type.  Surely my liberal friends are aware that democrats also spent millions on elections.  Yes, they may have won (some) of those elections, and therefore the argument might be made that the money wasn't as futile as the elections that were lost.  However, I don't think that's relevant in the slightest.  I think it's still the case that the money used on campaigns would have been better spent on actual jobs where actual goods and services are provided.

Now, of course, any money spent anywhere creates jobs for someone.  The people at the TV stations made money from the ads run by the various campaigns.  Billboard owners and sign-making companies, etc etc.  They all got some revenue, and this created some sort of job.  So, it's not all wasted.  But, I think that it would be put to far better use to have jobs like NASA, space exploration, performing arts, engineering, etc that will improve not only our current situation but also our future.  The future of the world is in science.  We need to do research.  Explore space.  Smash atoms.  Build nano-machines.  All of this stuff will improve our way of life now and will also improve the quality of life for the future.

Personally, I think we should streamline campaigns a lot.  There should be one website/phone hotline where each candidate submits eir own policies.  Then voters can go to one centralized place and compare all of the candidates based on their statements and their voting records (for anyone who has already held a public office).  No TV ads.  No campaign trails.  No speeches.  No debates.  Just issues.  No spending millions of dollars.  No endless and pointless mudslinging.