Film Friday: The Campaign

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SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you do not want plot details revealed.

This week, I took some time out to actually go to the theater and see two of my favorites, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, in The Campaign.

The thing that really stood out to me in this film was the way that money affected campaigning.

Jimmy:

Is there something greater than money that ultimately determines the election, or does it all just come down to money?

JJ:

Both candidates end up receiving funds from two rich supporters who are hoping to buy a politician so that they can get laws passed that will support their business plans. However, in the end something more does triumph. Despite financing the campaigns, as well as owning the voting equipment and making sure the votes turned out their way, the rich funders ultimately fail. The two candidates, despite all the dirty campaigning, come together and decide to put the people in their district ahead of their own needs. It was a surprisingly uplifting ending to a very off-the-wall comedy.

I think this ended is something that would be very unlikely in the real world. What this film does so well is point out how money can affect everyone and how skewed a person’s vision can become of what they consider to be right and wrong.

Recent Supreme Court rulings now classify businesses as people and allow massive corporations to fund campaigns and Super PACs. This means that more money then ever before is being poured into campaigns on both sides. Legality aside, the implications of this are far reaching.

Jimmy:

One of the roles of the government is to help regulate corporations. When corporations are funding politicians, it becomes increasingly difficult for the government to do its job of regulating these corporations.

JJ:

Considering this case has already been through the Supreme Court, that seemingly leaves us with no recourse. Is there anything we can do?

Jimmy:

Revolution?

JJ:

Haha. The answer to this one seems to have us a bit stumped here at Philosophy Matters, perhaps because none of us specialize in politics. But let’s crowdsource this – do any of you have any ideas or suggestions about where we, as a country, could go from here?

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