Op Ed from North Carolinians for Free and Proper Elections
by Brian Irving
Just as predictable as the media’s “gotcha” coverage whenever a politician gets caught cheating or stealing is the inevitable call by political reform groups for more laws to prevent such abuse in the future and for “better” ways of financing campaigns. They ignore warning from our nations Founders’ who understood that the more corrupt a State the more it legislates.
We certainly do need honest and moral people with integrity to run for office. We certainly should applaud and support those elected officials who are honest and keep their hands out of the cookie jar.
It’s pointless – and disingenuous – however to propose that forcing taxpayers to fund political campaigns they don’t agree with will promote honesty. Compelling anyone to pay for something they oppose is not just dishonest and corrupt, it is immoral.
Corruption stems not from lobbyists money but from taxpayer money. As long as government isn’t limited in what it can spend your money on there will always be people who will find a way to get the politicians to spend it on them.
Lord Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.” The corollary to this is that without power there can be no corruption for the politician has nothing to sell.
The absolute corruption of absolute power is evident in North Carolina government. Taxpayer-funded elections would only further strengthen the absolute power of the Democrat-Republican duopoly that wields on iron grip on state government by manipulating the law to favor supporters, reward cronies and thwart any third party or independent candidate who challenges that control.
Government is no longer about protecting individual liberty and promoting personal responsibility, it’s about “what’s in it for me” and “how much can I get.”
If you reduce government power and restore the concept of limited government our nation was founded on, you eliminate the opportunity for corruption. Of course, the major party duopoly is not interested in reducing their power. That is why North Carolina has the most restrictive ballot access laws in the nation.
Any non-Demopublican or independent candidate must collect 80,000 or more signatures to qualify for the ballot. That takes time and money. Once they have climbed that mountain they can start running a campaign. That is, if they have not exhausted all their volunteers, resources and energy just getting to the starting line. It’s like asking an athlete to run a marathon before entering 100 meter race.
Real campaign finance reform will begin the ballot box when Libertarians, Greens, Constitution and independent candidates can challenge the two-party state in a race without first having to have run a marathon.