All the Money In the World

I recently saw a movie about the kidnapping of the grandson of J. Paul Getty. You may remember it because his ear was cut off by the kidnappers and sent to his grandfather. At the time Mr. Getty was one of if not the richest person in the world. In the movie Getty refuses to meet the demands of the kidnappers because it will only encourage others to get some of his money. Though his grandson finally escapes, he is marred for life as he will always miss an ear.

Money doesn’t solve all problems.

The recent introduction of Michael Bloomberg to the Democratic primary field brings with it a candidate with a lot of money. He has had tremendous success as a businessman that has made him one of the world’s richest persons. He also was Mayor of New York City, the largest city in America and the cosmopolitan center of the world. Despite his supporting the “stop and frisk” tactics of the NYPD that reputedly led to the stopping of 80% or more innocent people of color his tenure as mayor was seen as successful. Although he is an Independent (as is Bernie Sanders), he knows the actions of the President well having many dealings with him as he was a Real Estate mogul in New York City.

It is amazing to me that a person who has been discovered to have lied more than 10,000 times could be reelected as President of the United States. That does not include the televised hearings that could lead to impeachment. No matter what the Senate does it exposes behavior that we should not expect of the leader of this nation. The loyalists still feel like he is doing a good job. I am not sure what they are looking at and it makes me wonder what kind of nation are we?

We also saw the entry of Duvall Patrick, former Governor of Massachusetts, into the Democratic primary. Although he is articulate, has a great resume, was a good governor, and is a friend of Obama he is entering this race awfully late. What does he see? It seems that everybody in New England thinks they should be President. It seems his best chance is to be a spoiler in the primaries. If he had entered earlier I think he would have attracted more serious consideration.

Even with many candidates, the Democratic field is seen as incapable of unseating Trump. Though it includes people who have distinguished themselves in business and government, many people obviously do not feel they have what it takes. The debates have not allowed them to distinguish themselves or maybe they have only revealed their weakness. There are choices but the number may not matter. The question is can they do the job? Or rather can they do it better?

I am concerned that people with money can buy all the TV time and social media spots and influence our opinion of what it takes to lead. We have already seen the way a Reality Star can influence opinion. We have even seen how a foreign country can create ads on social media that can affect the outcome of the election. Do we want to fall in the same trap? Are we influenced by how much is spent or where?

The massive TV buys are troubling. The large amount spent on advertising shows the influence on money has in politics. Money should not disqualify you. But neither should it make you better. The American public deserves more.

The next President should be who can do the job better. It should not be who has the most money. Even if you have all the money in the world..

Brad Thompson

December, 2019


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