Election season is here, and you’ve probably already heard loads of grumbling about candidates and our political process.
The primaries are only just starting. But like an echo following the American presidential candidates on the trail, our collective eye-rolling and ear-plugging has become as reliable as the campaign ads themselves.
The despair is not without merit.
Donald Trump leads national polls despite having made his fortune (though he hasn’t even done that) by profiteering off the vulnerable and elderly through his casinos and strip clubs. And, Hillary Clinton demands “religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” in order to accommodate her beliefs—all while potentially facing a criminal indictment. No wonder citizens are donning sackcloth and ashes.
Amid the lament, however, thoughtful citizens have opportunities to celebrate what is good about this presidential campaign. This can be taken too far, of course. But we can assume a healthy posture between venerating and vilifying this election season for three reasons.
Election Season Propels the Economy
We will spend more money on the 2016 presidential election than we spend on school construction for at-risk children.
I fabricated the statement, but it reflects the kind we constantly hear during election season. We think elections are too expensive, too highly influenced by a few mega-donors, and far less worthy than other places we could invest our money. But an underreported reality of election spending is the churn it has on our economy.
Dollars invested in elections don’t evaporate. They are investments in democracy. When we hear about candidates raising hundreds of millions of dollars, our shock ...1