While an earlier article in this series covered governments in general, politics in the United States are worth a more in-depth look. The reality gap in American government, as much as if not more than any other country, is all about money. In the U.S., money wins elections. Voters across most demographics often cast their ballot in favor of the most recognizable name they see, especially when it comes to local or regional elections. This, of course, means that a candidate must get his or her name out there as much as possible in order to be successful. But this comes at a cost, and someone has to foot the bill.
Candidates, to their voters, create an image in which they are running on a platform. There are two basic messages they consistently use. The first is to put their own “beliefs”, as the voters are led to think, in a positive light. For example, the November 2010 General Election’s marquee statement from conservative candidates is “fiscal responsibility”. Knowing that many Americans are worried about a growing national debt, they use that fear as a tool of motivation. The other message candidates use brings down their opponents in what is known as an “attack ad”. Often, they’ll highlight a certain mistake or transgression that their opponent has committed on a personal level. Their method of voter motivation in this case is anger and frustration.
None of the above is really news to the average American voter. What is, though, is the muddling of the “pure” platform a candidate runs on when money becomes involved. The ads and public relations campaigns that candidates run are extremely expensive, and they are usually paid for by private interest groups called Political Action Committees, or PACs. This funding process results in complications that require the average voter to delve much deeper than a candidate’s advertised platform.
When one reads news stories about a so called “conservative” politician attempting to insert pork barrel earmarks into legislation that work in favor of certain companies, it isn’t because they are going back on their beliefs. In essence, it is a standard method of repayment in American politics. For example, say a politician gets elected on an “environmental” or “green” platform. Then, he or she votes yes on a bill to give tax cuts to energy companies that use fossil fuels. In most cases, one can deduce that one or more of these companies helped to fund that politician’s campaign. The gap between their stated beliefs and their behavior as a congress member isn’t necessarily malicious or ill-intentioned; it’s just the only way that a politician can get elected in modern American politics.
The lesson to take away from private campaign funding is not to mistrust or hate all politicians. Usually, they are genuinely interested in forwarding goals that they believe in. But their hands are often tied because they are indebted to the private interests that funded their campaign. It is a payment system that will likely stay the same in the future, and should be closely paid attention to by responsible voters.
The United States will take more than 630 athletes to the Beijing Games and aims to win 40 gold medals (archery, baseball, beach volleyball, basketball, kayak, cycling, equestrian, swimming, athletics, boxing, gymnastics, sailing, shooting, soccer , softball, rowing, tennis, triathlon, taekwondo, indoor volleyball, wrestling).
Qatar is to start full preparations for the Beijing Olympics in August and will prioritise athletics, weightlifting, equestrian, shooting…
Montegrin national men’s water polo team qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Under the leadership of Petar Porobic, who is one of the best coaches in the world, Montenegro won the European Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bratislava (Slovak Republic/former Czechoslovakia). Montenegro will compete at the Olympics for the first time. In China, Petar Parobic will feel the weight of expectation from his homeland. “I have only one reserve -whether we have the patience to wait. Time. People expect and sport persons expect results quickly. No one understands that it is not easy for quick results. You must have a period to organize and gets results”, he said.