Jeb Bush, when asked about the $103 million raised for his super PAC in the still early stages of the 2016 presidential race, gave a response that is precisely what one would expect from political royalty:
I’m playing by the rules of the game, the way it’s laid out. And if people don’t like it, that’s just tough luck.
The corrupting effects of the current campaign finance system — which allows the wealthiest among us to dump endless amounts of cash into so-called super PACs — are quite well understood, both by those who oppose it and by those who benefit greatly from it, like Mr. Bush.
While seemingly crude at first glance, Bush’s response to his critics is actually very insightful, and provides a look inside the minds of those working tirelessly to uphold the status quo in the United States.
In fact, “tough luck” is probably the same phrase that goes through the minds of most politicians and wealthy corporate executives when they witness the massive protests and public outcries against corruption in politics, against the Citizens United decision, against the exploitation of workers, and against the collapse of the middle class in general.
We, those of us in positions of power and influence, are doing great. As for everyone else? Tough luck. That is the mindset of many of today’s most prominent elected officials, and indeed the underlying theme of American politics, broadly speaking.
Bush encapsulates and personifies this system, which is democratic only in name, which allows the average American only a minimal influence on policy decisions and on who gets into office, while the ultra-wealthy get their way most, if not all of the time.
In fact, Bush has internalized so deeply the values of an oligarchy dominated by the wealthiest of the wealthy that he cannot even comprehend the problem with accumulating over $100 million for a political campaign.
When asked, “How much is too much?” by Mike Allen of Politico, Bush’s response was quite interesting.
I don’t know. But I think you might as well frontload it if you can. This is along haul. Are we supposed to just warm up and work your way into it? Am I missing something here?
Yes, Jeb, you are missing the fact that you are participating in the actual destruction of what was left of democracy in the United States.
You are missing the fact that money — not good ideas or popular, grassroots support — is a limiting factor in whether or not you can even run for president, let alone win the nomination.
You are missing the fact that billionaires literally own the political system, as they decide who gets into office and what the elected officials do once they get there.
You are missing the fact that a majority of the American people oppose the very system that propels you through the ranks, and your response is “tough luck,” rather than, “perhaps a change is necessary, and the voices of the people should play a significant role.” This is oligarchy at its finest, the best government money can buy.