The party that's supposed to care about public funding seems to be quite happy flushing tons of money down the drain.
There's nothing better than a failed Presidential campaign to convince you that the American political system is completely broken. When the Presidential elections first began, the Democratic party hosted over a dozen potential nominees. That number has quickly dwindled to a single digit. While it is terribly sad to bid goodbye to many electable and powerful candidates, perhaps it is even more unfortunate to see all the money they spent on their campaigns go down the drain. Yep, folks, that's just money that they - or the American people - simply won't get back. According to recent reports, the Democratic Party has spent over $1 billion on failed Presidential campaigns - and you guessed it, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is responsible for about half of that.
As per WSBT, Bloomberg's campaign lasted a hopeful 100 days on a staggering $500 million of his own money. We dare you to imagine that much money in cash. Would it fill up an entire room? A football stadium? Well, the number of voters he was able to garner definitely wouldn't, so maybe it's of some consolation that his money perhaps could. His campaign came to a stunning collapse on Super Tuesday; the billionaire won only one US state: American Samoa. Let's not kid ourselves. He could probably buy the whole state if he wanted to. Nonetheless, his failed Presidential campaign is probably best for the Democratic party as a whole. Political experts had little faith that he could beat out Republican incumbent President Donald Trump.
Right behind Bloomberg is billionaire Tom Steyer, who spent a shocking $252 million on his Presidential campaign. Most of this funding, as you would assume, came from his own pocket. However, it isn't just the millionaires and billionaires who are to blame for the vast amounts of money that were simply flushed down the drain. Trailing behind him is former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who reportedly spent $75 million. Unlike Steyer and Bloomberg, none of his funding was self-financed. Most of it came from large contributions. Next up is Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic party's diversity ticket. She spent $38.4 million on her failed campaign. The Senator, like Buttigieg, also received most of her funding from large contributions. She was backed by corporate bigwigs like Google, 20th Century Fox, and Cisco Systems. Andrew Yang, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Senator Cory Booker spent over $34 million, $30 million, and $22.9 million, respectively. There you have it, y'all. That's over $1 billion - and we haven't even covered all the Presidential hopefuls.
Evidently, there is a problem with how we allow big money to influence elections in the United States. While money doesn't define electability, is there any point in allowing campaigns to raise this much in funding only to let it all go to waste eventually? Probably not. In the neo-liberal age, however, a future where we don't let corporations and millionaires and billionaires interfere with our policies and programs may seem too distant to even imagine. As we come closer to deciding a Democratic nominee, let's hope money isn't the biggest deciding factor. Fingers crossed, everybody.