1888PressRelease – Unlimited campaign contributions can present an ethical challenge for political candidates by Paul Chehade.
Paul Chehade – The Perils of Unlimited Campaign Contributions.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on the case of McCutcheon v. FEC, which struck down the limit on the total amount of money wealthy donors can contribute to candidates.
The United States has always been a capitalistic society. We value hard work, and the benefits it brings, including financial profit for our efforts. In general, we agree that the government has no business telling any American how he or she may spend that profit.
It is also vital for a democratic republic that citizens be involved in the election of candidates which represent them, and more importantly, make the laws by which we all must abide. In many cases, that means making financial contributions to political candidates which represent an individual’s views. Those who are more productive and make more profit can afford to contribute more.
At the same time, we all fear the specter of corruption in politics. No one wants to think that wealthy donors can use their vast reserves of money to “buy” a candidate, in what would amount to a clear case of quid pro quo. Undoubtedly, the temptation will be there for some.
However, campaign donations have been around for a very long time. That the limit now has been greatly increased does not change the basic question: can wealthy donors expect favors from the politicians to whose campaigns they contribute? Of course, the answer should be a resounding “No!”
We must trust in the honor and good faith of our elected officials, the public servants who shoulder the responsibility of leading this country down the righ path. We must also pray that God gives us the wisdom and moral fortitude to avoid the pitfalls that come when candidates receive large donations.
It is incumbent on our political leaders to resist the temptation to bow down to special interest groups in exchange for campaign funds. Those who can stand unaffected by access to money are the leaders we deserve. Those who fall prey to corruption should be removed from office and face the harshest criminal penalties.
Honor and Truth
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