“Best flow, I think the whole US know,” said Nas, New York City rapper who started getting big in the ‘90s, and now is dedicated by a Harvard research project dedicated to him. (Quote is out of “Hate Me Now” from his album titled I Am…).
Too much money, especially dark money, is coming from people as their voices are heard through corporations, which are created to avoid collective liability. Here lies a contradiction many can point to as a problem for bipartisan effort throughout government to reform our current election system.
Looking back during February earlier this year on Citizens United 10 years before, a congressional subcommittee of the House Committee on the Judiciary spoke to a row of Harvard graduates as witnesses about money in politics, concerned in the raising and spending by politicians in their campaigns.
Robert Weissman of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, now public interest activist with advocate group Public Citizen, spoke on a panel of all these Harvard graduates (big surprise!) for the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties in congress.
Weissman said the founders never intended corporations to get such sway in elections — as they now do through current election finance rules law —, but Citizens United “was a break” that shook precedent and rerooted American democracy in the pockets of an elite .01% of the population who spends 40% on campaign contributions, his statistics said.
Yesterday, when a coworker said why study elections? I said, good question. To see how voters pick a president, I responded, and why we have the election systems we do…and that felt like a right answer. There is an undeniable value, I believe, in casting a vote, even if you are upset by how campaigns are run.
Most recently, on the trail of last-stage vote mobilization efforts, Trump is lashing out with personal attacks aimed at his opponent. Obama, meanwhile, is going to appear in Philadelphia to stump for Biden today — his first in-person appearance on the campaign trail since a virtual appearance at the Democratic National Convention in August.
There is now uncertainty brewing among Biden’s supporters that economic news will bring more voters out on Election Day for Trump, than compared to Biden’s current, significant — but indecisive — polling advantage, held widely across the nation. Swing states, one could argue, including Arizona and Florida, where many Latinos will cast key votes, as well as in California and Oregon, the latter two both of which implemented universal mail-in voting with other states, following first California in 2000, are examples of where is going to determine which way this vote falls. USPS delivery is working at maximum capacity to make sure all votes get counted with increased early voting due to coronavirus concerns from in-person, Election Day voting contagion likelihood, as a report from MIT’s Election Lab warned in a white paper.
All added up, there is still a chance that a crisis of democracy could occur, and this could be triggered as Trump might dispute the result if he looses. At least there are some smart people educated at that famous college in Cambridge, north across the Charles River from Boston, and the geekier one, MIT, who know at least what reforms are needed if we find this cycle brought us to the brink of — or actually all the way over — a Democratic disaster.