By Bill Diem
Who is in charge of the grassroots fundraising computers at ActBlue? Whoever it is, they are not helping the Democrats.
It’s no surprise to regular readers that I am a left-leaning American. Living in Europe for many years has demonstrated the clear advantage of a national health care system. While I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats in my life, today’s polarization puts me squarely on the Democrat side.
But I am like Michael Moore, the Flint documentary maker. I am left of the Democratic Party. I gave a little money to Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, the New York bartender whose youth and intelligence and charisma and hard work got her into Congress in 2018. In the primary, she beat one of the highest ranking Democrat incumbents in Congress.
There is little to no chance that she won’t be re-elected, and in a few more years when she is older than 35, she could very well become president. I like her because she cares about people. Ordinary people. As she is really a shoo-in for re-election, she spends half her fundraising energy raising millions for people crushed by the pandemic in her New York district. Her fundraising stands out for its generosity.
But my name trickled over to several other House members in the so-called “progressive” corner of the party, and now I get e-mails from others urging me to make a small donation. The Democrats need to hire someone new. This is a typical appeal for money:
“Bad news, William: Last month’s fundraising numbers were released, and the establishment opponent outraised us. Will you rush in a grassroots donation of $10 right now to help us close this fundraising gap?”
No. I do not support a politician in order to close a fundraising gap. Money is the root of many evils in America today. The lobbies and Political Action Committees and rich people have far too much power in Washington. They write many of the laws. Have you read the instructions to Form 1040 for your taxes? Page after page of forms you could use if your case fits this or that loophole that was carved out by rich people to make them richer.
Yes, a politician needs money to campaign, but money won’t help a bad candidate. Hilary Clinton had more money than Donald Trump in 2016 and it didn’t help her. Trump may have more money this year than Joe Biden, and it won’t help him win re-election. Americans will decide if he has been a good leader or not.
When a rich guy talks to his tax accountant, or a CEO talks to his board of directors, their money goals are important. Money is not what is important for a politician who will be representing 700,000 of us in Washington. So with this edition of Just Bill, I want to send my own message:
“Bad news, candidate. I didn’t respond to your crass appeal.”