If you have been following, you understand the negative impact of dark money and Citizens United has had on our government in the United States.

Dark money has poured into elections with reckless abandon. As a result, legislation benefits donors, not the people. This is why voters feel disenfranchised and their vote does not count.

While there is a movement on the left side of the aisle to reject money from these organizations, some democrats still accept donations from Super PAC’s. Collectively, the Republican Party, en masse, take money from PAC’s hand over fist, and have no intention to stop. Conservatives designed and orchestrated Citizens United.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to affirm Citizens United as legal, how have Super Pac’s been used and where has its influence been felt in our society?

Follow the Dark Money

Since the ruling on Citizens United, we can see a surge in political funding that is astronomical. Special interest money dominates, and no concern is given to the voter. People impacted by this ruling suffer because they do not have the money to give to a partisan cause. The question to ask is, “who is donating mountains of cash toward politicians, and where do they get it?”

While it is not difficult to trace who donates to a political cause or candidate, the challenge lies in who is donating and where is the money coming from. Citizens United is a “Petri Dish” for money laundering through the 501(c)(4)’s that do not have to disclose the source of their donations. It is the millionaire class and above that support this system.

Politicians that profit from dark money donors will do nothing to address the inequality that has infected our political system. They do not seek to have a transparent system. Elected politicians are the only ones that can solve this problem too.

This is the real cancer of politics.

Elected leaders will not vote to stop the money train that flows into their offices. Why, because money equals votes to go the way you want them. This is why government works for the few and not the many.

An Easy Solution

According the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 146,311,000 registered voters in the United States.

In the 2016 Presidential election 128,824,246 cast their vote between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

That is a difference of 17,486,754 votes.

Of those 17 million voters, 5.7 percent cast their ballot for other candidates or didn’t vote at all. Trump won the Electoral College by a mere 77,000 votes.

Let that sink in.

Now I have a challenge for those that think voting is not important. In the elections of 2020, cast your ballot. Chances are if you do, your congressional representatives in the House and Senate will be a vote in Washington D.C. to repeal Citizens United.

This is where the power to defeat suppressive and potential illegal political tactics is. I call upon those 17+ million voters out there to let their voice be heard. Imagine the difference in our country if those disenfranchised voters finally said, “enough!”

Apathy at the ballot box will kill democracy as quickly as a dog will kill a cat. If people treated their vote like they treated their money this would be a different country.

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Gene Smith

Gene Smith is a Chief Campaign Strategist living in Arizona. He is a Juris Doctor, Democratic Campaign Strategist, Elected Precinct Committee person, and Democratic State Committee Member. Currently, Gene serves on the Environmental Caucus.

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