Why NOT give money to politicians by Misha Lyuve

Sep 8, 2012

The 2008 US presidential and congressional elections cost the country $5.3B. 2012 projections are closer to $6B ($6,000,000,000 – in case you are not proficient in billions). This amount is an equivalent of a yearly GDP of a small country like Rwanda or Malawi. It is also expected that this hefty sum will be approximately equally split between Democrats and Republicans.

More than a half of that money is spent on advertising. I am not diminishing the importance of political candidates to make their platforms known. However, the nature of political advertising nowadays looks like this: first you use some partial-truth-fact or take an out-of-the-context quote of your opponent and make it into an ad. Then point a finger at your opponent and, in justifiable outrage, call him a liar for doing exactly the same thing against you.

Some people blame politicians, call them untrustworthy scumbags; while others are resigned to the fact that the reality of being a politician is such that the only way to win is to play the established game of dirty tricks. And while both points of view might have some truth to them, let’s not forget that in a democratic society, its political system is just a mirror reflection of values of the society itself. In other words, blaming politicians is like pointing a finger at yourself.

By the way, I am not talking as a person who doesn’t have political opinions or doesn’t care about the future of the country. And if you, just for a minute, pull away from particular ideas you passionately support or furiously detest, you will see that politics became just a game of two sides that are more interested in winning than truth. That is why politics turn into one of the most divisive forces. The easiest way to know it if you have a family member that shares views of the other party than the one you support. Can you have a meaningful conversations about politics with that person?

I don’t suggest to dull your passions. I am just saying that each of us has a choice where to channel our enthusiasm. There are many ways of contribute to ideas you believe in and change you want to see happen. In fact, it starts with you.

Here are a few donation alternatives:

World Wide Orphan foundation

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Just Food


Global Medical Relief Fund


Surfrider Foundation

Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Friends of Maiti Nepal

Cooley’s Anemia Foundation

Smile Train

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  1. Amy

    Well said! Thanks for including the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation and recognizing other awesome causes.