Why We Ask For Your Money
None of us, including me like giving our money away and seeing it wasted. Or at least we want our money going to a good cause. To all of those who think that all political fundraising is a dirty business I say: How can that be?
Think about this for a minute… The most important decisions of our day are decided in the political sphere. Each day, parties, politicians, interest groups and communities duke it out in city hall, state houses and town halls around the country fighting for what they believe. And that is exactly the way it should be… I know, I know… it is very fashionable these days to talk about how un-civilized political discourse has gotten, and to decry that people who are elected don’t just get along.
But wait a minute! Do you really want people to go along and get along when they are deciding the future of our nation, our state, our city, our world? Whether you are a progressive or a conservative, don’t you want there to be a battle over the size and role of government? Or do you think we should just agree to disagree and come up with a lukewarm compromise?
What about civil rights? Abortion? Education policy? Health care? No matter which side of each of these debates you come down on, aren’t they important to argue about? Aren’t they big enough, don’t they impact enough lives to warrant our passion and emotion? Sure, if you’re talking about whether or not to put a four-way stop sign at the corner of Main and Elm Streets, take it easy and come up with a compromise. But how to go about stopping the influence of drugs in our schools? I say, get passionate and work it out in the arena through a battle of ideas.
So what does all of this have to do with fundraising? Well, if we can agree that the biggest questions of our day are decided in the political arena, and that these questions are so big and so important that they should be argued about, the next step is to realize that effectively arguing your position takes money.
When two candidates are running against each other, they are presenting two different and competing visions for the future in front of the electorate. They spend months, or even years, campaigning for the job, hashing out the issues in front of a public audience, trying to get their messages across. These efforts take money – and lots of it. The vast majority of candidates can’t self-fund, so they need to raise money in order to argue for what they believe in. Fundraising isn’t an inherently dirty business, despite the presence of a few bad actors. Instead,
fundraising is the lifeblood of our national debate on the future of our country.
If you’re running for office and you think raising money is bad, think of it this way: Your ideas are important, aren’t they? Why are you running for office? What do you want to accomplish?
Are the issues you are raising important? Are they vitally important to your children’s future? To your nation’s future? Unless you can self-fund, you will not be able to get your message, issues, and vision out without fundraising. If the issues and vision you are discussing are this important, isn’t it worth fundraising to get your message out?