Saturday, June 12, 2010

Personal Wealth is Not an Indicator of Personal Character

I really wanted to spend some time writing this post, but I am totally beat tonight so I'll be impossibly brief.

I've heard many complain that Meg Whitman spent tens of millions of her own personal dollars to win the Republican primary for California Governor. I've heard many complain that her personal money could have or should have been put to better use for the greater good than to run an effective political campaign. I've also heard many imply that she can't possibly be a good candidate/politician (that's an oxymoron, right??) because she is fantastically wealthy.

I've read that the current President of the United States, President Obama, ran a campaign that is estimated to have cost $2.4 billion in 2008. That's BILLION with a B. Kinda makes Meg's millions look like chump change, doesn't it? I do consider personal funds and raised funds to be the same because a dollar is a dollar is a dollar. That and another dollar might get you a cup of coffee. Seriously though, does it really matter where the funds came from? It doesn't to me. Frankly, I think that spending personal funds is a way of literally putting your money where your mouth is.

Could $90 million be put to better use than running a successful political campaign? Perhaps - I think it depends. Would $90 million fix any number of problems that California is facing? No. It wouldn't fill the black hole that is our public education system. It wouldn't fix all of our roads and transportation woes. It wouldn't solve negotiations with our public employee unions. $90 million might sound like a lot of money for your personal household, but it is a minuscule drop in the ocean that represents California's budget.

Is it socially acceptable for me to say that poor people have poor moral fiber? That they are plagued with character flaws? That they are untrustworthy because they are poor? No, of course it isn't acceptable to say such ugly things. So why is it socially acceptable to say all of the above about the so-called "rich?" It shouldn't be, but I find that it seems to be. What motivates this type of thinking? I'm inclined to dismiss it as good ol' class envy, but that seems so simple and pathetic.

I don't want to burst any bubbles, but politics is like a popularity contest. A popularity contest that you have to be hella rich to win. The richer you are, the greater your chances. And if you weren't rich going in, you sure as heck are coming out.

Why am I writing this? Why am I concerned with Meg Whitman and those who despise her? I don't give a rip about Meg Whitman. I don't even know very much about her politics (though I heartily suspect that she's a total RINO), but I do know about Jerry Brown. I'm afraid that I already know who will get my vote based on that reason alone.

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