Home / Op-Ed / Donkeys and elephants: the circus is back in town

Donkeys and elephants: the circus is back in town

[2A] Mike LichtWEB2016’s American election will feature more political contributions than ever

Author: Bodie Robinson – Contributor

It’s about that time again. On Nov. 8, 2016, the American people will elect a new president for their country. President Obama is nearing the end of his second term and he will be ineligible for re-election, as per the Twenty-Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, ratified March 21, 1947. Consequently, this upcoming election cycle will see a barrage of media coverage and debate as a brand new corporate shill vies for the Oval Office. In addition to the soap opera that accompanies American elections, peddled by reality shows like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, we viewers are in for another treat: Citizens United.

The Supreme Court ruling of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010 was a decisive step toward the USA becoming an unabashed plutocracy. This Supreme Court ruling ensured the right of political and corporate organizations, as well as private individuals, to spend an unlimited amount of money endorsing presidential candidates. The Supreme Court favored this ruling, citing that the First Amendment not only protects free speech, but the “act of speech,” too. In other words, MONEY = SPEECH. Ergo, this upcoming election is purported to be the most expensive in American history. In fact, Hillary Clinton announced a campaign fundraising goal of $2.5 billion. Compare this to the $2 billion spent between Obama and Romney’s in 2012. Hold on to your hats, folks.

The Democrats have six official presidential candidates, as well as expressed interest by Joe Biden. Front-runners Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are polling at 57.5 per cent and 17.5 per cent, respectively in average national polls. Meanwhile, the Republican clown car has sixteen Candidates vying for the presidency thus far. Notable Republican candidates include Donald Trump, John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Rand Paul. The frontrunner, Donald Trump, is leading endorsements with 18.2 per cent nationwide Republican support. Trailing behind are Jeb Bush at 13.7 per cent, Scott Walker at 11.7 per cent, and Marco Rubio at 6.8 per cent.

Here are some things to know about the 2016 Presidential Candidates.

Hillary Clinton

Vision: A free and prosperous America in which Hillary Clinton is President. Also, some vague stuff about raising middle-class income, immigration reform, and helping disenfranchised voters (e.g., voters who wouldn’t vote conservative, like African-Americans and people who don’t have two-door garages).

Voter base: minorities, liberal women, and leftists who haven’t heard of Bernie Sanders yet.

Greatest campaign contributors: Citigroup, Inc. ($782,327); Goldman Sachs ($711,490); J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. ($620,919).

Donald J. Trump

Vision: Make America great again. Fighting unemployment by expanding Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc., building a new Trump Hotel in every town in America, deporting all illegal immigrants to the Republic of Tonga.

Voter base: Retired WASPs who don’t understand the concept of “brown people.” The petty bourgeoisie. Combover sympathizers.

Greatest campaign contributors: Donald J. Trump.

Bernie Sanders

Vision: Raising taxes on the rich. Breaking up the “Big Banks.” Expanding Social Security. Lowering youth unemployment.

Voter base: White progressives. College liberals who salivate every time a Scandinavian welfare state is mentioned, Jewish grandpas everywhere, anyone with an IQ over 98.

Greatest campaign contributors: Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union ($95,000), Teamsters Union ($83,700), United Auto Workers ($75,400).

Jeb Bush

Vision: Establish the Bush dynasty. To make average Americans work harder.

Voter base: George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Greatest campaign contributors: Jeb has raised the most money for his campaign out of any 2016 presidential candidate so far, receiving about $103 million. 90 per cent of this money has come from outside groups like Right to Rise, a conservative donor group founded by Jeb Bush.

Rand Paul

Vision: To make America a libertarian paradise. Reforming education by making Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged required reading for elementary school students. Making anime real. Escaping the shadow of his father.

Voter base: young, white, conservative college students; every Reddit user ever; Bronies

Great campaign contributors: Clug for Growth ($106,515), Mason Capital

Management ($44,200), Alliance Resource Partners ($40,650).

About Our Contributors

The University of Regina’s thriving community fuels our content at the Carillon! If you’ve got a story worth sharing or are interested in contributing please let us know! Send an email to editor@carillonregina.com and subscribe to our pitch list!