Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Politics!! Yes, two exclamation points are necessary because that is exactly how excited I get about politics. I've "declared" my major as political science on multiple college applications at this point which is not binding by any means, but it is something. Whether I run for president or work for a local legislator all my life, I feel confident I will be content with what I do.

Sunday I attended my first political rally. With my 18th birthday being this Wednesday it seemed appropriate for my political nerd self, and appropriate it was. The rally as specifically for Bernie Sanders whom I adore. I'm a registered independent, but I am about 90% sure I'll be voting in the Democratic primary. (In my state if you are a registered independent you can choose to either vote in the Democratic or Republican primary just not both.) If I do vote in the Democratic Primary I am about 99% certain I will vote for Bernie. I was a fan of Hillary Clinton for some time but that began to wane within a month or so of her announcing her run.

It was extremely crowded which I can't say is a bad thing as crowds=support
When I discovered Bernie though, I was fairly confident I had found my candidate. My biggest excitement towards him is his stance on campaign finance reform. He refuses to be endorsed by a Super PAC and out of 400,000 donations, the average donation amount was $30 (edit: I cannot remember the exact amount but it was around $30/$31 which is INSANE in the best way possible).

My biggest pet peeve of American democracy is the vast amount of money that gets poured into campaigns. Companies and the wealthy elite can give millions of dollars to Super PACs which "endorse" specific candidates (the Federal Election Commission says that individuals can only donate $2,700 to an individual candidate but they get around this rule by donating to Super PACs which then back a candidate). Then when said candidate wins the election he/she will not represent his/her constituency, but instead the special interest of their biggest campaign donors.

For example, say Pacific Gas and Electric donates $5 million to Joe Smith's campaign run for the U.S. Senate. When Joe Smith wins the election, Pacific Gas and Electric will expect that Mr. Smith will represent their interest in Congress to pass laxer environmental laws and provide tax cuts to their corporation, despite how Joe Smith's actual constituents feel about these laws. In return, Pacific Gas and Electric will promise Joe Smith another political donation when it comes time for him to run for re-election.

Excuse the crumpled-ness of the sticker. 
Large campaign donations are just another way for the wealthy and corporations to buy more influence and power. And I want to clarify that I am certainly not saying that we should eliminate campaign contributions all together as this is a form of political speech, but I am saying that a candidate will definitely remember the person who gave $1 million dollars to their campaign but not the person who gave $20. In order for a candidate to fairly and objectively represent the people who elected him/her, s/he cannot have numerous big money donors controlling every move because they were able to afford to give a large sum to his campaign.

Bernie realizes this. He is one of the only candidates (Democrat or Republican) who refuses to accept money from a Super PAC. (I do have to admit for the sake of accuracy that Donald Trump is also refusing to be endorsed by a Super PAC but that is only because he is already extremely rich and wealthy to begin with. He is doing this not to make a point about campaign finance reform but because he does not want to comply with the rules and regulations that are in place over Super PACs. Voters need to keep in mind that Donald Trump is a literal billionaire and can easily self fund his campaign.)

I could go on and on about this, but my birthday is tomorrow (!!!) and I have a major bio test at the end of this week that requires major studying. Until then, have a fabulous day.


  1. Very interesting post, I've heard about how US politics is so dictated by money, but I hadn't thought of it as deeply as you have here. I also didn't know that you can only vote in one 'primary' depending on how you register, here you can vote for up to 10 people in descending order of preference in any election (because we have 10x as much freedom, I guess :P), and you don't have to declare yourself anything.

    Anyway, happy almost 18th birthday, and good luck with your test!

    1. That is very, very intersting about your primaries. I hope when I get to college I'll have the opportunity to study abroad and immerse myself in a completely different political culture. I feel like we have a lot to learn from other political set-ups (especially in Europe), but we as Americans and politicians think we are the holy grail in the political arena, that we have the best government around, etc., etc.

      Anyways, thanks for stopping by (and the birthday wish)! :)

  2. That's so cool! xx That rally looks like so much fun. I'd love to go when I'm old enough to vote! ;)
    ~ Sanjana

    1. It is honestly one of the coolest experiences ever! Thanks for commenting! :)