Issue One advisory board member Alan Solomont is out with an op-ed in Roll Call with a simple call to action: to get millennial participation in politics up, we’ve got to reduce the influence of money in politics.
The op-ed marks the second anniversary of a little-known Supreme Court case called McCutcheon vs. FEC, which eliminated caps on the total amount of money any individual can give to politicians and parties.
Combined with other cases like Citizens United, Speech Now, and Buckley vs. Valeo, the result has been “[to unleash] a torrent of money into a political system already flush with cash.”
Mr. Solomont is uniquely qualified to speak on the subject as the former National Finance Chair of the Democratic Party and the current Dean at the Tuft’s Tisch College. His background in political fundraising and youth civic participation converge in this op-ed which describes how money has warped the democratic process and deepened cynicism among millennials.
When we throw roadblocks in the way of young people voting, when we don’t ask them what issues they care about and assume we already know, we are reinforcing a narrative that young people aren’t interested in political participation. When we add to that an increasingly gold-plated campaign finance system, it’s no wonder that 60 percent of young people say “Washington embodies what’s wrong with America,” according to the Luntz survey.
Disillusionment with this process is one of the reasons outsider candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have surged this presidential election, and why Sec. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Ted Cruz have embraced anti-corruption, pro-democracy proposals like the ones laid out in our Blueprints for Democracy agenda.
Be sure to check out the full op-ed, and share with anyone who cares about ensuring this generation of Americans has a stake in the future of democracy.