Marissa Ray, Entry #4

      Today’s society is obsessed with money; getting it, spending it, or just keeping it locked away in a box somewhere. Many believe money to be the driving force of corruption in politics, as some politicians have be known to take ‘donations’ on a quid pro quo basis. Ironically, Jon Terbush agrees with Ralph Nader’s assertion that the only way to “open up this closed [political] system and make it breathe” is to have the ‘super rich’ become presidential candidates. Terbush argues that “ a self financed presidential candidate could theoretically circumvent” the ‘where’s mine syndrome’ that donors seem to contract when they give money to politicians. Though Terbush criticizes Nader as being ‘overly optimistic’, he also gives a slightly too optimistic view on the presence of billionaires in the presidential election. Even after mentioning the fact that not all “uber-rich” candidates would be ideal, or win for that matter, Terbush writes “the idea of a billionaire candidate is, generally speaking, a good one. A self-funded billionaire could reshape our electoral system and offer a true independent option”. While his last statement is a perfectly valid argument in support of self-funded candidates running for president, Terbush undermines his entire article with his next question: “And really, would a billionaire buying his way into the White House be much worse than the money-saturated system we already have?” Terbush brings to light the main reason many American fear mega-millionaires in politics: that corrupt businessmen would take over from corrupt politicians, leaving everything in the same state it was to begin with. In trying to advocate “the lesser evil”, Trebush instead make his point seem an equal, if not greater, evil than the one he is criticizing. While the idea of having a self-funded candidate is good in theory in the sense that he could potentially “reshape our electoral system and offer a true independent option”, the risk of intensified corruption, due to vast amounts of money, makes the reality of having a ‘mega-rich’ president all the more unlikely.



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