Jeff Clements: Campaign Finance Reform Will Help Break the Two-Party Duopoly, Empower Voters
Listen to “How to Curb the Influence of Big Money in Politics” an episode of Toppling the Duopoly featuring American Promise President Jeff Clements
In a recent episode of Toppling the Duopoly, produced by IVN Network and hosted by Shawn Griffiths, American Promise President Jeff Clements discussed the American Promise Amendment to end unlimited political spending as it relates to giving voters a greater choice in our elections and ending hyper-partisan politics.
“It’s in Democrats’ interest, it’s in Republicans’ interest, and it really is in independents’ interest because this is about the two-party duopoly. … It’s rich people who are in Mitch McConnell’s camp and rich people in Chuck Schumer’s camp battling each other in states where they don’t care who lives there or what happens there,” Jeff said during the interview.
This spending from the wealthiest Americans makes many people feel that they do not have a voice in how their government is run — and for good reason. Legislative priorities and outcomes are shaped by wealthy donors and often benefit them at the expense of everyone else.
“The whole system is broken because so many Americans lack a voice,” he said. “Everybody knows that — whether it’s state elections, federal elections — anywhere you see government right now, the dominant influence is money, and it’s not your money unless you are very rich. It’s big union money, it’s big corporate money, and it’s big, wealthy donor money on all sides. And it comes from a very small slice of people who can afford to actually put money into politics. Believe it or not, that’s not very many.”
Because this money comes from so few people, Jeff points out that it does not represent or benefit the vast majority of Americans.
“The massive force in our politics today is billions of dollars coming from less than 1% of Americans. That’s why it’s so destabilizing,” he said.
Throughout our nation’s history, American citizens have turned to the amendment process during times of crisis. Pointing to history, Jeff says we are long overdue for another round of amendments to help fix the system.
“America has never had a successful reform moment without constitutional amendments, and we are way overdue for one,” he said. “We did four between 1961 and 1971. We did four amendments between 1910 and 1921. We did the great post-Civil War amendments. We did the Bill of Rights. Every time America is in situations like we are now, Americans muscled the will to amend the Constitution, put the government back in our hands, and protect our rights and interests.”