Note: I started this post in September of 2015, but time prevented me from finishing it’s relevant again so I’m making updates and putting it out there now.
So, the NYT did an expose about Monsanto’s work combating anti-GMO silliness by sending supportive academics out to give talks about their support of GMO. The times, in typical “advocacy journalism” fashion acts like we should be stunned and outraged. How dare Monsanto use it’s money to amplify the voice of someone they support!
But those of us who think rationally realize this is the smartest move for Monsanto. After all, why find someone to buy off when you can find someone who has already analyzed the data, agrees with your viewpoint and give them the resources to spread their message far and wide. (By the by, if Monsanto wants to throw any money my way, I’m quite literally just down the road. )
It seems at least reasonable that this applies at some level to politics as well. Yes, there will always be the Hillary’s of the world selling influence to the highest bidder. But for the most part it’d be easier to simply back people who already agree with you than to pay people to change their minds. (Things get a bit trickier dealing with the unions, because they also deliver people voting lockstep in addition to money.)
Now I bring this post out of my saved drafts at this juncture, because we’ve reached an interesting time in politics. All of the Democrat candidates, Sanders, Clinton and Trump are railing against money in politics. Indeed, in the past Sanders has proposed amending away the first amendment. Oddly, at the same time Hillary is downplaying donations from oil and gas lobbyists saying they don’t mean they own her.
Contradictions abound. Frankly I’ve made my peace with money in politics. The collapse of Jeb! shows that even an incredibly well funded campaign may never even make it out of single digits. Trump is using media prowess to effectively avoid actually spending money (but his lack of ground game is finally catching up to him.)
Plus, I’m highly skeptical of the democrat’s supposed approach to “getting money out of politics.” What they want to do is get money they don’t like out of politics. Greenpeace, unions, etc. would all get to spend freely on them. I’d rather have an open system than one rigged against me.