Stand up for your ideals

By The Advocate, Editorial Board

Our democracy has been compromised. We are living in a time in which the best presidential candidates our primary election process could produce are a lying career politician and a corrupt real estate mogul.

It is the most important election cycle in our history as a nation, and we are told to vote for one person at the risk of having the other become president.

Do not fall into the false dilemma that is posed by the two largest, and most perverse, political parties the United States has ever seen.

We should not have to vote for the lesser of two evils out of fear, despite what mainstream news outlets cram down our throats. We should be able to vote for someone who reflects our values through their actions, not through misleading rhetoric.

Many people are so focused on the candidates’ mudslinging that they forget about the federal legislation that allowed these juggernauts to plow over their competition in the primaries.

As long as Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that allows corporations to form super political action committees (PACs) to be their voice, stands, our voting rights will remain restricted.

These super PACs are able to funnel unlimited amounts of money to a candidate’s campaign. This is the corporate version of freedom of speech — the best form of politics money can buy.

The original Citizens United PAC was created in 1988, with major funding from the Koch Brothers, to restrict government regulations while increasing the voices of corporations.

Super PACs, which represent various industries and their interests, view elections as a means to maximize investments rather than an opportunity to make a better society.

According to the Center of Responsive Politics, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have raised a combined $1.3 billion through their campaign committees. Their respective super PACs raised a total of $594 million.

How can a normal citizen compete?

Even Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders, who raised the most money from small, individual donations of any political campaign in U.S. history, couldn’t compete with the big donors.

Sanders raised $185.8 million in increments of about $27 per donation, but he was no match for the machine that is the Clinton campaign.

Yet people who plan to vote “third party” are categorized as idealists who have no understanding of the political process by news outlets like CNN, FOX or MSNBC.

This line is misleading. Is there a chance that voting for a third party candidate may take away votes from Clinton or Trump? Of course. That is the point.

Candidates should not run for any political office if they feel entitled to that position. That is an oligarchy, not democracy.

The people who realize that our electoral process is a sham are people who are the most informed. And they are the most willing to establish an equitable election process — a process that does not favor our nation’s elite families.

Your vote should matter, but due to the influx of corporate money and private interests we are told to vote for the most likable puppet.