The United States of America has always been a nation of promise and opportunity. We are taught at a young age that we can grow up to be anything we want to be. We can become astronauts, engineers, bankers or even president. What our teachers and parents don't tell us, is that this will come at a very high price.
Without money, it is very tough to become a banker in today's day and age, let alone president of the United States. With the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, individuals and corporations became able to contribute unlimited amounts of money to any candidate's Super PAC, or Political Action Committee, making the world of campaign finance more complex and less transparent.
What outcome has the decision in Citizens United and the Super PACs had on the 2012 presidential primary election cycle? With the numerous gaffes of Mitt Romney in the media, Republicans have dug a hole for themselves that will be hard to climb out of.
Citizens United v. FEC is a landmark Supreme Court decision that gave individuals and corporations the freedom to freely spend for political purposes. This has already led to increases in political donations, since it was decided January 21, 2010.
This landmark decision led to the inception of powerful political action committees, or super PACs, who have no limit in the amount of contributions they may receive. These organizations can spend their money on anything they see fit, mostly on advertising for or against a candidate.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, as of April 12, 421 groups organized as Super PACs have reported total donations of $159,486,720 in the 2012 cycle. Restore our Future, Mitt Romney's Super PAC, accounts for $43,220,562 of that.
What do these numbers mean? Politicians think that America's vote can be bought. The frightening thing is, that is absolutely true. We listen to the attack ads and heart-felt stories Mitt Romney wants us to hear. We ignore the Etch A Sketch comments and remember his billion-dollar character.
Darla Camille Conti