Tag Archive: John McCain

Money makes the world go round

$603 million. The total amount raised by Barack Obama’s campaign.

$358 million. The total amount raised by John McCain’s campaign.

Together it equals $961 million. That’s almost $1 billion. And that’s not including the money raised by other candidates who were seeking a presidential nomination or the candidates of smaller parties.

This number is not something to be proud of, in fact it borders on embarrassing.

We are living in one of the greatest economic crises of the last century, and yet Obama raised a presidential campaign record $150 million in September alone.

That does not reflect a nation in the middle of an economic crisis.

Fifteen years ago, in 1993, Fortune Magazine published an article about what you could buy with $1 billion. Here’s just a sample:

— The average annual grocery bill for 250,000 families of four.
— A lifetime supply, 30 months on average, of disposable diapers for 666,000 children.
— Two years’ worth of AIDS research at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, or a year’s worth of the drug AZT for 333,000 HIV-infected people.
— The tuition, room, and board at an Ivy League school for 10,645 students, enough to populate the freshman classes of Brown, Cornell, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale — with $50 million left for Cliffs Notes.

Think about what we have done in the last year. Most of us are probably guilty – I am. I contributed $40 to a campaign to attend a rally. Some of us have bought t-shirts from campaigns, while others have donated money directly.

We are pouring our resources – time, energy and money – into candidates who have made one promise after another. We have eaten their words like hungry lions, desperate for some hope.

But what if, instead of dumping money into a system of deception, we put money into programs that have a history of change; the UN world food program or maybe you feel inclined to support an international child.

We stand on streets with clipboards asking every person who passes if they are registered to vote. We go to rallies and attend conventions, because this man has become a hero who we have to see in person.

We can’t do anything about the last year, but we can change the direction of the next four years. What if we took our ‘election year’ energy and used it to build houses with Habitat for Humanity? What if we handed out bagged lunches to the homeless once a month?

Imagine what American could look like.

By Nora Jorgensen

We are more than donkeys and elephants

Political satire is funny, especially when it’s done really well. Amy Poehler on SNL this weekend was really, really funny. In fact, Sarah Palin was even a little funny too. And even Barack Obama and John McCain have joined in on the jokes; poking fun at each other at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner.

But as the weeks pass and the election draws closer, humor will only get us so far. Humor is indeed a great way to escape current political tensions. It also creates a relaxed setting to criticize things we severely disagree with, and it’s a good way to challenge people to really think.

But in a little more than two weeks, whether it’s President Obama or President McCain, people are going to be unhappy. Mean things will be said about one of these men and the next four years he is going to live under the strictest scrutiny.

Former Tar Heel, retired professional basketball player, and current announcer for UNC, Eric Montross spoke to my class today. He said his goal as a member of the sports media is to embrace the positive. Can we finish this political season with the same spin?

As Americans, with extreme but equally valid opinions, we need to be willing to step away from negativity, and sometimes maybe even the humor. Instead, we need to enjoy the great things we share as citizens of the same nation, even if it is something as simple as a Coke.

The new Coca-cola commercial is a perfect example of the awesome relationships that can exist, as well as the awesome experiences that can be had, when we are willing to set aside our political differences.

By Nora Jorgensen